There are many managers but very few real leaders, and just because you occupy a leadership position that doesn’t make you a leader.
I think the real challenge is that not enough people know what leadership really is.
For me, great leadership is lots of little things, some which on their own don’t really look like much, but over time they accumulate and have an amazing effect on your teams and their performance.
Take coaching, for example, this is something that I believe all leaders need to master and perform on a daily basis. In fact, I would say that if you want to be a great leader you should be spending 20% of your time coaching people.
Every encounter is an opportunity to coach, either through demonstration, questioning, suggestions or sharing examples. This is what great leadership looks and feels like.
Delegating is another quality great leaders have and when you delegate you do so many things, you make people feel valued, involved, and it increases engagement. It gives people opportunities to develop and improve their skills, and it also helps to increase your impact.
Leading from the front sets the tone and gives your teams an example to follow, this is important because people are always looking to their leaders to see what they are doing. As a leader, your actions influence what your team does, and how they do it.
This is why I say leadership is a lot of little things, those actions that we take on a daily basis.
Yes, creating the vision, building the strategy, and setting the direction are critical, and yes giving speeches is important, but these big things are actually only a small percentage of where we spend our time as leaders.
They are part of the setup, and once that is done then the real leading starts.
If you want to have your vision achieved, and your strategy delivered, then you need to take care of all the small leadership tasks. It’s those that build the culture, excite and empower your teams and get them to provide the results that you are looking for.
The more you understand what leadership really is, the easier it will be for you to spend time both developing those skills, and utilizing them to create powerful teams.