Successful Leadership: What is it and why is it important?
Forbes defines leadership as a process of social influence that maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal. Kevin Kruse, the author of Great Leaders Have No Rules, shared that leadership has nothing to do with seniority, titles, or personal attributes. It is also much different than management. While managers manage things, leaders lead people.
A vital aspect of an organization’s development and success is leadership. For an organization to reach its goals and objectives, its leadership needs to be effective. Styles and approaches differ from one leader to another, and the result is that effective leadership creates the conditions for successful and sustainable organizations.
A true leader needs to be agile, a fact merely highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crises. According to the military strategist John Boyd, the foundation of agility is to: Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Boyd designed the OODA-loop in 1987 when it was used to intercept the decision-making capabilities of enemies, leaving them in utter chaos. The concept was adapted years later to fit the business world. Then, it became a tool of choice to survive uncertain and complex environments. In today’s world, it has become a prerequisite.
Communication, empathy, and self-awareness are essential qualities that turn a manager or team member into a leader. The best leaders are skilled communicators who use various ways to make a message heard to coach and inspire others. They also have high emotional intelligence that enables them to be inclusive and empathetic with their staff. Finally, humility is paramount. When leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, they become more effective leaders.
Steps to Achieving Successful Organizations
Employees want to feel that their leader has clarity about the company’s vision and destination. For example, when you go on vacation, you don’t load up the car and ask your family where they want to go. Similarly, employees need to feel that their leader has the confidence and plans to succeed.
The leader’s job entails maintaining focus in the direction of the ultimate destination while reducing distractions to a minimum. Being positive and having a can-do spirit to overcome obstacles and adjust course inspires the rest of the team to follow suit.
Leaders should also focus on the staff’s needs. They need to feel cared for, attended to, and comforted when there is a challenge, simultaneously encouraging them to get back up on their feet.
Leading by Example
The phrase was derived from the famous quote of the great theologian Albert Schweitzer who said: “The three most important ways to lead people are: by example… by example… by example…” This means that leaders should practice what they preach so that later they create leaders and not managers.
Leaders can use storytelling to give examples of similar situations that occurred before and ended successfully. They should communicate at the same level as their followers. When leaders and followers speak the same language, they improve their performance, build confidence, and eventually influence their organization’s overall performance. Good leaders are committed to keeping their employees happy so that they can go home each night and return the next day ready to rise to challenges and accomplish results.