What makes a great leader of the 21st century?
What does come to your mind when you think about a great leader? Do you consider yourself as of one them?
Usually we tend to associate leadership with work, however leadership is everywhere, at home, with friends and with our social communities.
Roselinde Torres, leadership expert who studied 25 years leaders of different companies and what makes them stand out, came to the conclusion that 58% of companies recognize that they have significant leadership gaps despite all the investments in leadership programs and trainings. And the leadership gap is widening.
According to her, there are several important questions that we should ask ourselves in order to start preparing ourselves for becoming great leaders, leaders in every area of our life.
What are successful leaders doing and what are important questions that we should ask ourselves? According to Roselinde Torres these are the following:
1. How do we anticipate the change of our business model or of our lives?
The answer is in our agendas. How do we spend our time and with whom? What do we read and where are we travelling? There is a common practice that some outstanding leaders implement, each member of their teams comes together and shares their experience, what impacted them the most, what worked in the new project and what can be improved, how this can be anticipated and prevented it in the future. Sharing, listening and identifying what can be done to prevent errors in the future.
Don’t you think that this practice can be applied to every aspect of our lives? Anticipating the conflicts, demotivation and emotional wastage? Identifying the problem, listening to our team members, sharing experiences and searching for the new solutions.
2. How diverse is our network?
We all have different networks, however being successful leader means being capable to develop relationships with people that are very different from us. Different at all levels: biological, physical, cultural and economical.
As per Roselinde Torres research, having a more diverse network is a source of solutions, because in this case people think differently than we are. Most probably they are the ones who will commit to our new ideas, the same ideas might seem strange and naive for people from our usual network.
3. Are we brave enough to abandon the past?
To abandon what made us successful in the past and going with the new ideas, with the new practices and solutions? Do we tend to do what’s familiar and seems more comfortable?
Great leaders dare to be different.
Roselinde Torres comments that the most impactful development comes when we are able to build emotional state to withstand people telling us that our idea is naive, not worth it and has no chance for success.
What is our usual approach? Do we surround ourselves with people who commit to our goals and ready to help us achieving our goals? Or do we resign our ideas just because we receive some negative feedback from people that used to do what is familiar?
I would add to this list additional questions:
4. How do our team members feel about sharing their ideas with us?
Do they feel comfortable? Do they know that they will get support and as leaders we will share their successes and motivate for further achievements? How connected are we with them? How do we listen and how do we provide feedback?
By answering above questions we can start identifying how great leaders we are. How do we connect with our work teams and family members at all levels, how do we develop relationships with different cultures and backgrounds, how open are we to understand and listen another person?
I would like to wish you a great week ahead with one of my favorite quotes:
Remember the difference about a boss and a leader: a boss says “Go!”, a leader says “Let’s go!”
And you, are you a great leader?
Do you have any leadership techniques that you apply and that works for you? As always it’s nice hearing from you.