Ok, so you’ve read a lot and heard a lot about how important it is in today’s business world to be a leader. A leader in the industry, a leading company, a leader of men, a sales leader …. seems like we’re all looking to BE leaders and find leaders. But what is a leader?
Dictionary.com defines a leader as one who guides or directs a group. Hmmm. It doesn’t say its the smartest person, or the most motivated. Or the most senior or the richest. It says “one who guides or directs a group.”
So within your organization, how do you guide or direct? I would begin by understanding the purpose of the group. Get a good handle on the vision and mission for your company and endeavor to understand all the ramifications of them. This is Understanding.
Then you have to develop your skills to be a contributing member of the group, and at the same time help others develop their skills. This is Development and Communication. I put these two qualities together because they rarely, if ever happen fully without each other.
Once you accomplish these steps, you need to actually make decisions, take action, and take responsibility. Step up to the plate and actually do something that has an effect on the organization and the people in it.
Perhaps the final step is to take it upon yourself to teach others when given the opportunity. Allow them to develop into leaders too.
A friend of mine and I talk constantly about the ‘bottom of the food chain’ in an organization: Those people who are either hourly employees or low skilled, or even highly skilled administrative assistants. Do you think that these people don’t aspire to lead, even in small ways? Do you think they don’t lead now? If they can affect your performance or your organizations performance in any way, then they are in a position to be a leader. Develop them and your organization will be stronger.
As a small business consultant, I think the three things that are most lacking in today’s small business is Training, Communications and Leadership Development. Looked at in this light, they ALL are Leadership Development.
I love to help in these areas. Feel free to check with me any time.