Being a leader may come natural to some, being a successful leader is an entirely different story. Orrin Woodward once said, "Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." Below, I will share what I believe to be the secrets of successful leadership:
Lead by example – a successful leader is a person of authenticity, a role model, an influencer, someone that others follow because they want to, not because they have to. So, make an example out of yourself and demonstrate the energy and passion that you have for the work you want your team to do.
Communicate – a successful leader never assumes, instead they paint a really clear picture for the team to ensure that they are up to speed and in the know. Keep the momentum going, by re-visiting goals and encourage your team to share their successes and their challenges with each other, giving them every opportunity for growth.
Anticipate obstacles – a successful leader is ready for any road bump along the way, because there will always be road bumps! Be prepared to conquer obstacles and keep the team moving in the forward direction; a successful leader will not allow the team to lose momentum when a crisis occurs.
Keep your team engaged – ROLE PLAY if and when possible, and have some fun! If your team is not a close knit team, allow them to get to know each other. Trainings and team meetings are perfect opportunities for team building activities; present them with a challenge and allow them to work through it, and be excited about what they have just accomplished… together!
Acknowledge - John Maxwell says, "A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." Successful leaders always acknowledge their team and give credit whenever possible. A little ‘thanks’ and ‘great job’ goes a long way! Say it often.
Becoming a successful leader is not easy, being mindful of the attributes and actions listed above will definitely get you on the path to becoming one. For anyone still doubting that they can go from being an average leader to a great one, I will leave you with one last thought from Donald McGannon, "Leadership is an action, not a position." So what are you waiting for? It’s time to take action!