‘real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination’
I used this quote to end last weeks bulletin. It made me think about qualities of leadership and how we know leaders from managers.
Key leadership attributes are considered to be integrity, trust, respect for others, curiosity, passion, business acumen, initiative, drive and vision.
We could debate any of these but in my view they form a pretty good basis and people who have most of these characteristics are likely to be good leaders, but only if they actively work to characteristics.
To differentiate leaders from managers is to be able to think in such terms as;
Do right thing, not do things right - effectiveness not efficiency.
Have a long term approach - eyes on horizon, not on here and now.
Rely on trust rather than control – personal relationships rather than hierarchical relationships.
Innovation rather than maintenance – dissatisfaction with status quo.
If these pointers give you some indication of differentiation you will grasp some essentials of leadership. To me great differentiator is leader who has confidence to stand alone focussed on horizon while making happen those things that need to happen to realise vision.
Leadership training usually involves identifying and imitating behaviour of great leaders. But how can this be effective?
Great leaders are usually at their best when they stand alone doing their own thing rather than copying what someone else has done. Which in turn can mean that leaders are at their best when facing some form of crisis which makes them draw on originality of their own fundamental values.