Who is a leader?
A leader isn’t an abstract thing. It is not merely a role in an organisation. A leader is a person first and forever. This means any development that takes place needs to be primarily about the person, rather than the role.
As a concept, this sounds straightforward. However, the idea of focusing on personal development, particularly in a professional context, can feel uncomfortable for many business leaders.
In fact, developing yourself, as opposed to developing a
style is often an uncomfortable approach to building your leadership skills.
Yet without self-development there can be no leadership development.
For this reason, I will be exploring how you become a leader who is you, not a type, such as ‘autocratic’, ‘charismatic’, or ‘laissez-faire’.
People leaders are people
In different situations, every one of us is able to, or invited to, take a leadership role.
The person you are is the leader you are. A good leader uses who they are to create a unique connection with every person they interact with. A leader needs to communicate effectively.
Even though each leader is an individual, and each connection they make is unique, there are some generalisations that can be made about the skills required for good leadership.
Good leaders require:
- A strong work ethic.
- Continuous self-improvement.
- Emotional intelligence.
- Forgiveness (of themselves and others).
Being a leader means working in a non-ordered world. Workplaces are contradictory and confusing. This means that leaders need to be honest and consistent in order to effectively deal with the endless variety of people they encounter inside and outside their organisation.
As a result, good leaders need to be able to identify numerous personality types and traits quickly and non-judgmentally, have the ability to manage their own internal reactions to each of these different personalities, and use the most appropriate method of communication to ensure they are leading effectively.
This requires the ability to match the individual’s need with your input. MCA’s Influence Dimensions communication profile is a great start. The ID focusses on the influential relationship between people in teams and makes matching mind sets and non-verbal aspects of conversations a conscious process.
I would value hearing your thoughts on this.