The Essence of True Leadership: Accountability and Teamwork

The amount of people who do not know what true leadership is about, particularly those in positions of leadership, astounds me.

When you speak with them, they believe that leadership is all about setting direction, giving commands, making decisions, having a big corner office, and then just leaving their teams to get on with it.

For sure, those things may come with leadership, but that’s not really what leadership is about.

If you take that approach, you may have some success, but you are not going to create an organisation that has sustainable success.

I have worked with several leaders who have had this style, and to be honest, they just relied on the quality of the people working for them to get the job done.

This isn’t leadership, this is an absence of leadership.

People want to feel that their leader is in the boat with them, not that they have just issued commands and let their team set off in the boat while they remain on shore.

Leadership is all about accountability—being accountable for ensuring the success of the initiatives that our teams undertake.

Yes, we need to set direction, make decisions, but you also need to clearly communicate the goals so that the teams understand what’s involved and what their role is.

You need to create a connection with your team so that they trust you, and know that they can count on you if they hit rough waters, and you can’t do that if you are not in the boat with the team.

You need to be able to communicate a plan, create belief in the team that they will be successful, and then provide support and recognition as they progress towards the goals.

As leaders, we need to be a part of the team, not apart from the team.

We need to be setting the example, often rolling up our sleeves and working side-by-side shoulder-to-shoulder with our teams.

When we do this, our teams feel a much stronger connection, more engaged and motivated and are more likely to go the extra mile and work through difficult times.

If we are a leader apart, who just leaves our teams to get on with things, when they start to hit problems, the likelihood that they will quit and give up is much higher.

Good leaders know that they are an integral part of the team, and foster good teamwork from within.

If you want to know more about what good leadership is, why not check out my book, Leadership It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint, which give you practical advice on how to achieve sustainable success.

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to view our course.