Today I want to share a short secret with you. If you ever find yourself in a position of leadership, this will prove helpful.
A quirk about truly great leaders is that they aren’t generally dictators. Most are humble with a unnerving level of humility, but at the same command respect and create intrinsic motivation among their followers. Certainly some well-known influential leaders fall into the dictator/jerk camp, but it doesn’t have to be way, and much stronger, sustained leaders are not that way at all.
Here’s how they do it:
Great leaders create the vision framework within which their followers operate. Then they capitalize on the cumulative human knowledge of the team and empower their followers to build that vision using their own ideas and to do amazing things by delegating responsibility to those people.
The don’t abdicate their authority, and the monitor everything through the people who report to them, but ultimately, they allow those in their command to create the path that leads to the vision.
This method fosters a feeling of peer accountability among the group, helps generate stronger loyalty to the leader’s vision, and ultimately aligns everyone to the same goal rather than an “us against the leaders” mentality from those being led.
Empowering others is the most important leadership skill to learn, and I encourage you to read leadership books intentionally. There will always be books to learn from but a few must reads are anything by Jim Collins, especially Good To Great, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, and Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Of course I encourage you to find more on your own. Ultimately, however, you’ll gain the most skill and knowledge by actually leading other people.
With that, what are you waiting for? Go be great!
P.S. An executive picked up one of his employees in a new sports car. “This is an amazing automobile,” the employee remarked. “It is nice”, the executive replied, “And if you set your goals high and work hard I can get an even better one next quarter.”
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