A number of scenarios presented this week caused me to pause and reflect on the importance of good leadership in order to drive organisational success. A fundamental objective of effective leadership must be development of the team as part of the overall process. Ultimately, the true test of a great leader is in the ability to inspire and motivate others. One of my favorite writers offer a simple definition “leadership is the ability to influence others” ~ John Maxwell.
Sounds easy enough! Well, let me assure you, striking a balance between focusing on profitability and the ongoing development of the team presents an ongoing challenge for many business leaders. Many times, the inability to identify with a clear purpose, coupled with the lack of emotional intelligence presents a real challenge for either the leader, team members or both. Leadership requires that you remain optimistic at all times and show genuine care for the team, if you are to ultimately achieve success. The most effective leaders are those that manage to remain positive even in the face of negative situations.
Interestingly, in dialogue recently with a team member who shows great potential, the importance of honing in such leadership skills was emphasized. As the formal or informal leader, one must become more self-aware, which would allow for better self-management. Realising how your actions, reactions and overall demeanor impacts others will go a long way in developing critical leadership skills.
Another important point worth highlighting is that while leadership can be quite rewarding, it comes with a great deal of personal sacrifice. Without a doubt, a great degree of brain power and resilience is needed to sustain your leadership effectiveness. The importance of building consistency in your leadership style therefore cannot be overemphasized.
An important realisation that my leadership journey has taught me is that you must be close enough to relate to others, yet far enough to motivate them if you are to see tangible results. The most effective leaders are those that place people at the forefront of the journey; creating a culture of high employee engagement fueled by continuous improvement of self, processes and products or services. The real challenge for today’s leaders however is that this constantly calls for a serious balancing act…..