Many people aspire to make it into a senior management or leadership role. While may people make it to a senior level and achieve great success, others struggle.
So what’s different about successful leaders?
Sometimes people end up in leadership roles because it is the only option for moving forward in their professional field, By contrast those who had made a positive choice to move into leadership as part of their career plan were much more successful.
The best and most successful leaders that I have worked with were great at what they did and hugely people focused. The reality is your ability to get the best from others is what makes you stand out.
Work Well With Others
When you move into leadership it’s no longer just about working well with people from the same professional discipline. You have to work well with a whole range of different people and cultures.
Connected To The Sharp End
It might be tempting and comfortable to stay at the corporate HQ. However it is easy to quickly lose touch with life at the sharp end as people tend to communicate what they think you want to hear.
Accept They Don’t Know It All
Those leaders with low self esteem and low self confidence want to have a finger in every pie. The successful leaders know they deliver the best results when they focus on what they do best.
Orchestrate or Conduct
The conductor of an orchestra does not try to conduct and play all the instruments at the same time. They focus on getting the right combination, timing and co-ordination to deliver a great performance.
There are going to be times when difficult decisions need to be made. Some of them will be hugely unpopular. It’s easy to avoid these and put on the too difficult bundle. The best leaders accept that difficult stuff is part and parcel of their role.
Take Responsibility For Mistakes
There is a saying that goes along the lines of if you are not failing you are not trying. Yes it can be uncomfortable to face up to your mistakes. At the same time you gain a whole lot more respect when you take responsibility. View your mistakes as part of your continuing leadership education.
The Bottom Line: Success as a leader is never ending work in progress with many highs and lows. The challenge is to keep going with the flow and moving forward.
Duncan Brodie helps professional people in medium to large organisations to become highly successful leaders. Learn more here
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.