Recently I have had lots of conversations with others about the different types of leaders that we all know. To summarize what I keep hearing is that there are good leaders, great leaders, and then there are some really bad leaders. I would imagine that when you hear the word leader a mental image of someone in particular probably pops in your head. You may just get an image of a leader from all three categories mentioned.
Something I heard from very early on in life was “treat others like you want to be treated” and this is exactly what I have tried to do. I haven’t always been successful with that though. When I come across someone that I would consider a “bad” leader I often wonder if they were raised with the same idea on how to treat people. Honestly, I can’t imagine they did or else they must really be miserable people if they enjoy being treated the way they treat others.
We all know some bad leaders but what about great leaders? What makes a leader “great?”
- Great leaders arrive early, stay late and are willing to do anything they ask their followers to do. Some of the best leaders I have worked with weren’t afraid of hard work. Not only did they work hard but they also found a way to work smart.
- Great leaders surround themselves with other great leaders. It has been said that your income is within 5 to 10% of that of your closest friends and acquaintances. If in fact this is true, then why wouldn’t you want to step up your game and spend time with those leaders that are earning the income you desire or that share your same values in leadership.
- Great leaders know their place. I have worked under a leader that came in to the organization and within one month completely destroyed the morale of the department, caused much strife among those that reported to them, and things were never the same. Sometimes leaders need to just sit back and watch for a bit.
- Great leaders are approachable. The same leader I talked about in number three was very unapproachable. Their office door was always closed, the curtain shut, and when approached to ask a question I was told they were busy and didn’t have time. Just having the door closed 99% of the day was clearly a sign of not being available.
- Great leaders don’t micromanage. I refuse to work for a micromanager. My philosophy on micromanagement is that if you are going to micromanage me you might as well get rid of me and do the work yourself. If you hire a professional to do a job, let them do their job.
I am sure that you could probably fifty more characteristics to this list as can I; however what I really want to know is what kind of leader do you think you are? More importantly, what would your followers say about you? Are you a micromanager? Do you surround yourself with the best of the best that can challenge you or are you opposed to being challenged?
We need great leaders in this country and the only way to become a great leader is to always work on your growing edges, capitalize on your strengths and focus on personal development. Show me a great leader and I will show you someone that reads a variety of books, listens to CD’s and practices good self-care.
Please share this blog and comment below with some of the characteristics you find make a great leader.