There have been many books written on the subject of leadership in business. I think it is kind of funny that many of the books have been written by people that have never been in an at-risk leadership role.
My definition of at-risk leadership is if your job is based on the profitability of the company. I am not talking about a professor at a college that has a PhD in business. I have a friend of mine that was one of the greatest leaders I have ever known, and he told me once that people’s opinion of what is important changes when they have to meet a payroll. He is right because it is one thing to have lofty ideas, principles, and theories, but it is an entirely different thing when it is your company or job and your neck on the line.
While I am far from the example of a leader, I have found that the following ideas need to be in the leadership process somewhere.
- Always be humble
- Never be arrogant
- Be willing to learn
- Be willing to listen
- Be honest and transparent in all dealings and leave your door open
- Discover why you do what you do
- Find the vision for the company
- Be willing to delegate
- Never gossip about anyone else inside the company or outside the company
- Praise – construct – praise
- Be willing to do what others are unwilling to do
I encourage you to think about good leaders you have known and respected in the past and see how many of the above items the person practiced. It is my guess that the person you are thinking about was a lot like this outline.
You want to know something else funny? These same qualities above are also the qualities your bosses look for in people that they promote to higher positions. They are universal for anyone that is a leader or anyone that will become a leader. KT