What It Takes To Lead

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” — General Colin Powell

Leadership isn’t always about directing and overseeing a grand plan — a great leader needs to assess the plan and break it down into attainable goals that will result in the best solution.

A leader must be able to wade through information, comprehend what’s relevant, make a well-considered decision, and take action based on that decision. Making decisions too quickly or too slowly will impede your leadership effectiveness.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”— Theodore Roosevelt

A good leader knows when to be a leader and when to be a follower. To be an effective leader it involves having the integrity and vision to be able to communicate effectively to all your team mates and to build that trust and respect amongst your peers.

No one person can do it all. That’s why a team, comprised of others with different skill sets, is essential. A leader must know how to build and nurture such a team.

“The difference between mere management and leadership is communication.”— Winston Churchill

Great leaders must be great communicators. The chief complaint of employees in nearly every organization, whether large or small, is a “lack of communication.” The term communication refers to both interpersonal communications between the leader and the overall flow of necessary information throughout the organization.

If you have a clear goal but are not sure how to communicate that to others, it can end up as a failed attempt. A large part of communication is listening – hearing what others have to say can make for a well-rounded and well thought out goal.

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”— John Maxwell

A business professional in a place of leadership must continue to develop these qualities and model them for the team. Whether our desire is to be a leader or not, there are specific skills that must be developed. Some are born with natural leadership qualities while others, through determination, develop them. Have you identified the leaders in your company?