Dream. Lead. Achieve.

I’m lucky enough have to have a team of rising stars to mentor and see through their careers, and being that time of year when promotions are being considered and reviews are being done, I’ve been asked a lot recently about what the difference is in stepping up from being a manager and about what makes a good leader.

I thought I’d share the principles I choose to lead by;

  1. Always do more than you expect of your team and never ask your team to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself.
  2. Solve problems; the day people stop coming to you with problems is the day you stopped leading and the day you lost their trust.
  3. Make decisions, never make excuses.
  4. Take more than your share of blame and less than your share of credit. Give the credit to the team around you.
  5. Always have a vision.

Early on in my transition from management to leadership, my mentor said to me: “Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.” A quote I went on to find out was from Peter F. Drucker. She was right. She’s still my mentor.

Today, I still have a lot of dreams and aspirations, I’m still learning how to be a better leader and more importantly, how to develop better leaders. Having a great idea, putting a team in place to execute it and committing to making that dream become a reality is what separates leaders from just dreamers.

To do this, beyond principles, I also believe you need certain qualities to be a great leader, for me these are;

  1. Honesty; being open and being true, because in doing so you will earn trust and loyalty.
  2. Integrity; someone described this to me once as ‘standing in your own pool of truth’.
  3. Commitment; once you’ve made your decision, stand by it and do whatever it takes to enable it.
  4. Inspire; you can’t lead if you can’t evoke emotion in those around you.
  5. Always have a dream.

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“If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small.” 

Richard Branson

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