As Business owners we must be, or be able to become leaders to maintain our positions as business owners. There are many facets of a Good Leader; in fact a Good Leader is much like a diamond. A diamond is hard, clean, transparent and multi faceted, in comparison, a Good Leader is stern (hard) and decisive, Well defined (clean) and clear, not afraid of being who they are (transparent), and willing to allow people to know why they are successful; finally, the most important characteristic that a leader possesses is the ability to be a multifaceted thinker.
How can a leader use these skills to the advantage of themselves and their associates?
Consciousness is an integral part to maintaining a leadership position. A Leader must always be cognizant of those things which affect their work.
This means two things. First, that a leader must know what is going on around them.
And the second is that a leader must understand those things, better than the people with whom he is involved in competition.
This is the fundamental layer of the Competitive Advantage.
A Good Leader is Hard.
A good leader is stern and decisive, but it is fine for a leader to take time in arriving at this position. Decisive does not mean that they are Hasty; it means that they are sure, and willing to accept responsibility. A leader must be willing to accept responsibility for the actions of their group, or they should not be in the leadership position. It is not bad to be wrong, if you can prove that you were sure that the decision that was made was the best one available at that time, and as long as you are willing to accept the responsibility of fixing the problem your decision has caused.
Be sure of your decisions. Be sure because you are right, not just for the sake of being confident. Find out why your decision is the best decision, and why the other options are not. Your view is highly regarded by both those under your direction, and those to whom you report, make your view the right one, and be able to back it up.
A Good Leader is Clean.
Obviously personal hygiene is important, but if you really think that that is what I meant by this statement, you have missed my meaning.
A Good leader will always be able to use clear, well-defined communication to show who he or she is, what they need, and what they have accomplished. Good communication is paramount in business; most failures in business are due to bad communication. Leaders do not want to fail, it is not a word that belongs in their vocabulary, however many leaders frequently forget to make communication the most important part of their business. As a rule of thumb, information is money, and those people and companies that are best at transferring that information, will be the most successful.
A Good Leader is Transparent.
A good leader will always allow those people under their supervision to know the secrets to their personal success. When leaders do this, it only allows for their progress to be heightened. They should not be afraid of losing their position, by giving information to their team members. Position is not maintained by having secrets; it is maintained by helping your team become more productive. Unfortunately many leaders refuse to give information on success, because they are too lazy and comfortable where they are, to work at keeping the competitive advantage we spoke of earlier.
(As far as leaders go, do not trust those who will not tell you how to be successful, if they are a good leader they will not be afraid that you will use their information to be better than them, because they will have the confidence and drive to stay in front of you.)
A leader must always be more knowledgeable than their team, so they can provide a check for the members of it. That doesn’t mean they will know everything and their team won’t be able to contribute, just that the leader won’t be fooled by their own lack of understanding. They must always be able to confidently question the decisions and information presented by those who are under them, if they are not able to do this; they ought not to be in a leadership position. They must always be able to determine if there is a better way than what they are being presented and encourage their team to look elsewhere if the presented solution offers no real solution at all.
Rather, a good leader can think on multiple levels. Tom Peters popularized (and perhaps John Adair coined) the phrase, “think outside the box” this is essential, but not just as a tagline. A leader must understand what this means and how to implement the practice. To be a multi faceted thinker, a good leader must utilize the team of people they are endowed with, as two heads are better than one. A team should have the ability at all times to approach the leader with ideas, thoughts, comments and suggestions, they should not be afraid of the leader, nor should they be afraid to think or act freely within reason; the leader must determine those boundaries. To be a multi faceted thinker, one must go back to the basics, find out the WHY, and the HOW, of every pertinent idea, and let their team do the same. Listen. The words that you hear as a leader of this type (a listening leader) will prove to be the foundation for your greatest accomplishments.
Leadership can be improved upon by an honest attempt to understand everything as an individual component part, and to do your best to understand how each component part does or does not harmonize with the rest of the component parts.