We all know that being a leader is tough role. When you are on the outside looking in it can look really easy. Yet in truth there is often a huge difference between perception and reality.
So what are some of the signs that you are leading rather than just playing at it?
There will always be things to do in any organisation no matter what it does. While you cannot ignore the present, you also need to be thinking long term too. Remember that as a leader your job is to drive the organisation forward.
People want to know where they are heading so that they can decide whether they want to get on board and help you to reach the destination. As the leader you need to provide as much clarity of direction as you can. Vagueness about direction of travel will always result in less than optimal results.
Leaders often talk about the importance of employees being engaged. What makes people engage is the belief that their ideas will be listened to and acted on when it is appropriate. Failing to listen is one of the fastest ways to disengage those who you lead.
It might not seem fair but as a leader you are ultimately responsible. In practice what that means is that you have to be willing to take personal responsibility even when there are potentially serious consequences for you.
You might think that leaders are successful because they personally are brilliant. The truth is that behind every great leader there is a team of great supporters and followers. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that the public face of the organisation is doing it all by itself.
The truth is that leading is a process of continual learning and the best leaders keep growing and developing.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people become great leaders and managers. Sign up for his free audio e-course Leadership Success at www.goalsandachievements.co.uk.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 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.