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;
- Always do more than you expect of your team and never ask your team to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself.
- Solve problems; the day people stop coming to you with problems is the day you stopped leading and the day you lost their trust.
- Make decisions, never make excuses.
- Take more than your share of blame and less than your share of credit. Give the credit to the team around you.
- 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;
- Honesty; being open and being true, because in doing so you will earn trust and loyalty.
- Integrity; someone described this to me once as ‘standing in your own pool of truth’.
- Commitment; once you’ve made your decision, stand by it and do whatever it takes to enable it.
- Inspire; you can’t lead if you can’t evoke emotion in those around you.
- Always have a dream.
“If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small.”