Ever stood on the outside watching your boss and thought how you could do a much better job? In truth we probably have at some point or other in our career.
You see when you are not in a leadership role it all seems so straightforward. On the other hand when you are in the role the landscape looks very different.
There is no shortage of books, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos telling you all about what it takes to lead. So what’s my take on the key components to being a good leader?
In my experience those who are good leaders are highly self aware. They know what they are good at and where they struggle. They know what impact they have. They know that to achieve results they have to get the best out of others.
There will plenty of highs and an equal number of lows. Being able to bounce back from setbacks and keep going, even when it is tough is vital.
Vague ideas tend to result in mediocre outcomes. Being able to provide clarity to others around what you are trying to achieve and the supporting behaviours will make a big difference.
A lot of times you will hear that being a good leader is all about being tough. There will be times when you have to be tough and even appear quite ruthless. If however you want to achieve long term results you need to care and have a genuine interest in others.
You are going to get along with some people better than others. At the same time it’s important to avoid being fairer to one group than another.
Leaders are judged on what they deliver. While you must get the people part right, it’s vital to make sure that you also deliver against targets and goals too.
One of the big distinctions for me between a leader and manager is that the leader should have a much bigger focus on moving things forward rather than simply keeping things running well.
I wonder what else you would add to this list based on your own experiences.
Duncan Brodie helps professionals to become better leaders.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 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.