Do You Have The Attitude Of A Leader?
Leader is more than a title; it carries a responsibility. Leaders come in all sizes, shapes and colors and they bring a myriad of attitudes to the position. Their responsibilities are numerous, requiring that they possess certain qualities and skills in order to be successful. Many skills can be developed through training but personal qualities are innate. Training can compensate for some, but not necessarily all, shortcomings.
A successful leader has an attitude that shows his or her desire to make the company successful. At least these attitudes are needed to be successful.
Commitment to taking massive action. This means the leader takes action beyond ordinary ones in order to achieve results. Sometimes the appropriate action is awkward, i.e., terminating a friend or relative who is not performing.
Control over ego and desire for status. An effective leader realizes that results are more important than being known as the key person. A successful leader builds a strong team and is not concerned about who gets the "pat on the back." As a matter of fact, it is preferable that a member (or two) gets the credit. A successfully performing team makes the leader look good.
Trusting the team that has been built. Having the trust and support of the leader is paramount to building a stronger team. The attitude that "No one can do it as well as I" will intimidate some employees and lessen the desire of others to develop and grow.
Taking risks and dealing with imperfect information. At times leaders need to get outside of their comfort zone and take calculated risks. Always staying in the "safety zone" can stymie growth.
Willingness to be unpopular and face conflict. Conflict is never pleasant but at times is unavoidable, particularly when dealing with employees who seem to be performing at less than their potential. A good leader develops a level of comfort in dealing with conflict so that conversations about expectations and performance can be constructive.
A balance between monitoring and the need to control. Finding the right balance between micromanagement and abdication may require the leader to develop the attitude of "controlled surrender" or "interested detachment." Observe but do not be overly anxious to step in and take over. Having the right attitude will allow leaders to contribute to building strong businesses that can run without the need for the owner to have in-depth involvement on a day-to-day basis. This allows the owner to perform more effectively as a CEO while the managers are effective at their level in the organization.
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Lillian Lambert is first African American woman to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School and a successful entrepreneur. In her book, The Road to Someplace Better: From the Segregated South to Harvard Business School and Beyond, Lambert draws upon her experiences, using her personal story to show how to use obstacles and barriers as stepping stones to higher levels of achievement. Visit Lillian on Red Room, where you can buy her book and read her blog.