Great leaders are made, not born.
Leadership is a requirement to any successful business because the nature of of good leadership is that it provides important direction to an organization. But the one thing that Leaders need in order to be Leaders is: Followers. Forcing people to be your followers will never work, but there are things that you can learn, and practice and do that will make people willing to follow you.
The US Army developed a framework for leadership in 1973 based on be, know, and do. This is how they define these as it pertains to leadership:
- A professional. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they will eventually, do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
- A professional who possesses good character traits. Develop good traits within yourself, such as honesty, competence, candor, commitment, integrity, courage, straightforward, imagination. Develop good character traits within your team that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
- The four factors of leadership – follower, leader, communication, situation.
- Yourself. Know yourself and seek self-improvement. In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through reading, self-study, classes, etc.
- Human nature. Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
- Your job. Be technically proficient. As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ jobs. Train your people as a team. Although many supervisors call their organization, department, section, etc., a team; they are not really teams…they are just groups of people doing their jobs.
- Your organization. Use the full capabilities of your organization. By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.
- Provide direction. Make sound and timely decisions. Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools. Keep your team informed. Know how to communicate with your team, seniors, and other essential people within the organization.
- Implement. Develop a sense of responsibility in your team. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. Communication is the key to this responsibility.
- Motivate. Set the example. Be a good role model for you employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. Know your team and look out for their well being.
Good leaders define an organizations culture, the direction, and work ethic. It is their job to build trust, and engage others to get things done. Becoming a leader yourself takes a personal commitment to take the time to study, and to practice the skills and techniques. Luckily it’s a skill that is learnable.