“Leadership is the ability to motivate and lead individuals, teams, and organizations through discovery, discussion, and actions they would not have arrived upon on their own.”
It took a lifetime of work, research, experimentation, and refining before I arrived at my definition of leadership. To become a great leader, more importantly a visionary-leader requires a significant deal of work and conscious effort. I had to be very intentional in my search for understanding what a great leader does, why a great leader seeks this role, and ultimately understand how to become a visionary.
1st attribute of Leadership – Desire: I consciously committed myself to become a great leader. It takes time, effort and risk.
2nd attribute of Leadership – Be a Teacher: I have enough confidence in myself to be willing to share all my learning’s from my work, education, and experience.
3rd attribute of Leadership – Challenge: I have been willing to lean forward into risk throughout my career and being a provocative thinker: consistently asking the question “So What?” – not to be difficult but to encourage thoughtfulness and deep level 2nd and 3rd level thinking (i.e., critical thinking).
4th attribute of Leadership – Courage: Intelligently face challenges. It takes courage to lead into the fray day-after-day, defining accountability, holding people accountable, and putting the right people in the right seats.
5th attribute of Leadership – Team Builder: Respect for everyone is the foundation of building a team: Respect for themselves; their teammates, and, for the organization. Respect for the leader that sets the course and helps them understand how to get there.
6th attribute of Leadership – Collaborator: Very early in my career I found that all the good leaders pull all the appropriate resources/stakeholders together and help them achieve a common goal.
7th attribute of Leadership – Communicator: Without the appropriate level of communication the other characteristics of leadership are of no value. A good leader communicates, communicates, communicates!
Lastly, as these seven attributes build upon each other and become an innate skill, we achieve the pinnacle of leadership – Insightfulness – Visionary: Through my years of experience I feel I have moved from being a first line employee to becoming a Visionary – a state of “Enlightened Competence.” This is a state true leaders desire to achieve. It is the state where we see things no one else sees as well as gaps, solutions, opportunities, and improved methodologies that no one else sees. This is the highest state of Leadership we can achieve – become a Visionary, become a Great Leader!