There are many discussions concerning what makes good leadership. Some define leadership as a social process that uses influence to raise up ideas and accomplish goals. Many leadership training methods focus on effective listening and organization. Since my work deals primarily in quality management, leadership has a slightly different purpose.
For instance, we may believe that leaders need to be strong willed, demanding and always focused, but does that mean impersonal and ‘above-it-all’? Imagine that you want to build a house and you want it to be perfect.
If a leader is effective, they are strategic thinkers; therefore it behooves the leader to be accessible to all because it is for the benefit of strategy (e.g., to be successful). They may be excellent communicators, they may know when and how to break down traditional organizational hierarchy, they may simply be likable people, but first and foremost the effective leader knows how to reach people AS people not just the means of accomplishing stated goals.
You’ve heard that leaders should be ‘transformative’. What does that mean? I believe that to be transformative, the leader must possess an ability to touch the head as well as the heart; to reach deeply for emotional commitment from whomever comes near; to envelop others with inspiration about anything that is in the common interest be it spiritual, personal, or work-related.
We want leaders to be honest and transparent. To me, that’s a prerequisite if you also want people to trust you.
You will be a multi-skilled individual, with ‘know-how and do-how’ that covers as many different aspects of the ‘common interest’ as possible. The leader will have a clear vision and a strategy to match their passion.
Leaders encourage diversity and excitement in those that chose to follow.
Leaders encourage others to do their best.
Leaders think differently, yes, but they also act decisively, firmly and are willing to take acceptable risks with others when the time is right.
Leaders are ‘environment creators’; by that I mean that they attract and keep the best and the brightest ideas and talent. They keep people motivated as a means of keeping ideas fresh and vibrant.
Leaders have a “next X” mentality – always looking first from your agenda then next to the goal. You will work toward any goal that offers success for your organization and its people. You celebrate one victory and prepare for the next one. You will be curious, competent, tireless, and persistent.
Leaders lead because they must.
Cranfield University, UK
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Harvard Business School, USA
IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Spain
INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
Instituto de Empresa, Spain
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA
Melbourne Business School, Australia
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Santa Clara University, USA
State University of New York, USA
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Tuck School at Dartmouth College, USA
University of California, Berkeley, USA