Leadership is influence. For me, that’s the best definition of leadership. Whether we know it or not, we are always influencing people around us. Not just by what we say, but more so by our actions. As an organisation we are influencing people inside our organisation, as well as our customers and partners. So, how do we create a positive influence and create a winning team? Here are 10 qualities that I think are key to leadership:
1. Take Responsibility
Every successful endeavor starts with taking personal responsibility. Responsibility for getting something done as well as owning up to your mistakes. Nothing is ever accomplished by playing blame game. When we blame others we give up our power to change.
Responsibility is something we take, it can’t be given, just as leadership is a choice we make.
With our customers, we always take the responsibility to make sure we help them achieve their business objective.
“The price of greatness is responsibility” -Winston Churchill
A clear vision of future keeps you disciplined and motivated in the present. It is important to have a vision of future without being far-sighted and at the same time being rooted in the present without being near-sighted.
In an organization, it is also very important to clearly communicate and explain the vision, so everyone understands what we are trying to accomplish and what we stand for.
Big picture is also important in all the projects we do. We always start with end in mind and then progress with small milestones. We never say “let’s do what’s needed today and worry about future later”. Future depends on what we do today!
Communication is key to a good relationship. I truly believe over communication never harms but lack of it always causes problems. It’s better not to leave anything to assumption because assumptions are always made from our point of view, not from other’s!
We also need to be effective in communication. Effective communication is where neither content or context is lost. As someone truly said “Nothing is so simple that it can’t be misunderstood”.
It takes a village to build the business. Which means it’s not a one man show. It requires creating a team of people who know what they are doing. Once you have the team, then let them do what they are best at and get out of their way! The key is to delegate to the people/team who has the ability as well as willingness to do what you want.
Delegation is also a way of showing that you believe in and trust your team. Delegating work to the right person will lead to more productivity for all.
“When you delegate, you develop two leaders.”
Everyone loves being recognised for their work. Recognition is actually ranked as the top thing people want in their job! Ranked higher than money! So it’s important to create an environment where people feel important and appreciated. Recognition inspires people to perform better.
“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” -Dale Carnegie
Trust your people to do a great job and they will. Create an environment of teamwork where people can trust each other to get the work done. When the trust is there, people work together to accomplish the mission without worrying about who gets the credit.
It’s equally important to create a trusting relationship with your customers. This entails delivering quality results on time, even if you have to go the extra mile and inconvenience yourself. This will make them believe you are genuinely interested in their success and will lead to a long term relationship and referrals.
“Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.” -Stephen R. Covey
7. Lead by example
The best way to lead is by example. We should not ask or expect people to do, what we are not willing to do. To be successful, we need to lead people not manage them! It’s better to say let’s do it vs go do it.
Also, as an organisation, we need to lead by example in our culture, values, work-ethics and community. We should be the first one to do as we say :)
“It doesn't take any talent to fire anyone, real talent is helping someone to be successful.”
8. Commitment to Excellence
Mediocrity is not an option. Always go the extra mile to deliver more than expected. If there a better way to do something then don’t settle for less. Don’t cut corners to get things done. Excellence means continually starving to be better than we are.
“Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.”
9. Integrity and honesty
This is probably the most important aspect of leadership. Momentum takes you to the top, but your character keeps you there. Integrity involves 3 R’s. Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.
Integrity also means being honest and doing what is right, no matter what the circumstances. It creates trust and security within organization. Integrity is the foundation of lasting success.
“Attitude reflects leadership.”
10. Have fun!
When you love your work, it’s not work. We are more productive when our minds are relaxed. Having fun is important. It helps to keep our creative juices flowing. So, let’s get serious about having fun!
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing” -Dale Carnegie
Here at ten24, we are so proud to have a team that lives by these principles every day. We have a group of very passionate people who are committed to helping our customers grow their business.
2010 was great and we are excited about what’s ahead in 2011. So, here is to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!