In an effort to understand and get a picture of what a genuine leader looks like we will use the acronym LEADER to examine some things good leaders do.
People are more inclined to follow those who hear them and their ideas and opinions. Increased undermining in organizations and families takes place where this is lacking. Wise leaders realize they do not have to agree with everything they hear, but if they don’t take the time to genuinely listen others are not likely to agree with anything they want to do. Good leaders work on developing their listening skills.
New ideas, dreams and hopes for progress and advancement are very important in any organization. Developing and sharing their vision with others is a must if the vision is to be accepted and acted upon. Leaders provide the vision and they get others on board to help map out the way to see the vision become a reality.
Keeping an idea or thought to yourself that requires others’ assistance is a sure way to keep it from happening! Asking others to help or join you is a hallmark of leadership. Good leaders are not “loners.” Real leaders have a manner of asking for advice and asking for help that is hard to turn down because those who are being asked receive a sense of importance.
Wise leaders know when and how to delegate. Frustration may often arise when a person is given responsibility but little or no authority. Wise leaders delegate and empower people with responsibility and authority for the task(s). Good leaders are secure enough to overcome the “I can do it better” syndrome and wisely delegate in a way that encourages and develops others.
Leaders help other people to be successful. They are not held back by jealousy or thoughts of who is getting the credit. The leader’s focus is on seeing the vision happen and setting the tempo by their example.
Often times we will see leaders who appear to be gruff, domineering, and short tempered with people. Yet they are still able to get results. Why? Because they care for and respect people. It is like a football coach who is demanding and somewhat dictatorial in his coaching style and the players and team will battle for him all the way.
(Adapted from seminar materials by William Vermeulen)