Leading is odd. There is much advice out there about what to do and how to do it. Yet sometimes there is a huge disconnect between what people know and what they do.
So here are my 10 top secrets about leading that you may already know but might not be applying.
Secret 1: Seniority Counts For Nothing
When I started out my career in 1980 the boss was in charge and everyone did what they were told in the main. However these days seniority in itself no longer counts for anything. People don’t just do what they are told because you are further up the hierarchy.
Secret 2: Unless You Have Followers You Are Not A Leader
Leaders have followers and focus on creating more leaders. If you have no followers or no interest in others you will never succeed as a leader.
Secret 3: You Can’t Be The Lone Ranger
Leaders orchestrate, facilitate and involve others. They understand that it is teams rather than lone rangers that deliver results.
Secret 4: Listening Really Matters
A lot is said about the importance of communication and communicating is without doubt important. Good leaders are good communicators. Great leaders are great listeners.
Secret 5: How Emotionally Smart You Are Is More Important Than How Intelligent You Are
Many highly intelligent people really struggle when they move into leadership roles because they think that knowledge is enough. It’s the type of person you are and the relationships you build that make the difference.
Secret 6: How You Invest Your Time Matters
You can buy a faster computer, get a phone with more functionality, get better premises or equipment. On the other hand you cannot upgrade the number of hours you have available so you have to invest it wisely.
Secret 7: Without Trust Nothing Happens
Unless you build and maintain trust you will never deliver to your potential. You get trust by showing trust in others.
Secret 8: Leadership Is Continual Work In Progress
You never reach the point where you know it all or if you think you do you are deluding yourself. There are always new challenges to face.
Secret 9: Great Managers Don’t Always Make Great Leaders
Management is about getting things done. Leading is about the people and future. Some do as great job at the former but not at the latter.
Secret 10: No One Leadership Style Is Right For Every Occasion
In other words you have to adapt your style to the situation or context you face.
The Bottom Line: There is a huge difference between knowing about leading and actually being a leader.
I wonder what other secrets you would add to the list.
Duncan Brodie helps professional people to become great leaders. Check out his free audio e-course here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.