As a young leader Iâ€™ve been observing how others treat their peers and subordinates. In fact, before I was a leader I was already identifying how I would and would not lead, when I had people to follow me. Influenced by both those I looked up to and established authors, I started to write down what type of leadership style I would embody.
First off, borrowed from John Maxwellâ€™s The 360 Degree Leader book, I firmly believe that a leader is a servant. If youâ€™re at the top, your job is to help those below you do a better job, or as John Maxwell puts it “add value”. If youâ€™re at the bottom, your job is to help those above you do their jobs better. If youâ€™re in the middle, well, youâ€™re helping above, below, and just as importantly across. Letâ€™s also not forget that he advocates you leading yourself before any other leading takes place.
Studying some other great books and interviewing those I deemed as “good leaders”, Iâ€™ve been define and refining my own style. Below are the latest elements that I continuously refer to that define my leadership style.
- Be firm in your decisions/actions but not overbearing.
- Seek a genuine deeper human connection.
- Be a servant of the individual or group.
- Be candid and always open to feedback/direction.
- Be confident with the groupâ€™s vision and path.
- Give all credit to the team or individual contributors. Or never take credit without acknowledging the help of others.
- Provide gratitude always when deserved.
- Encourage innovation and creativity by not judging an idea as “right” or “wrong” in the moment.
- Encourage success but allow team members to fail, thereby learning from their mistakes.
- Lead by asking questions that allow the group to arrive at a the same destination together.
- Reward genuinely to positive responses and based on achievement of an even scale.
- Always be encouraging, motivating, and goal focused.
Some more great leadership books:
The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes andÂ Barry Z. Posner
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Also, another great resource if youâ€™re looking to learn from the latest leadership concepts is G5Leadership.com. They offer ever expanding on-demand recordings of authors and popular thought leaders on leadership topics.