In the many interviews I conducted with leaders during the research and writing of Raise Your Leaders ™, everyone complained that the two biggest time-wasters in business are emails and meetings, and often these practical issues of leadership are not strategically managed!
Leaders need to be able to plan strategically for success. They need to be critical thinkers who can articulate their vision and their mission statement to their team so that they achieve buy-in and can then achieve the overall goals together. They have to develop their practical leadership skills such as delegation, time management and meeting management, slotting into the role of chairperson with authority and dignity. They should know how to deal with conflict, and how to identify and manage stress effectively. This can only be done with adequate preparation and knowledge, both essential cornerstones of success.
Leaders need to understand that a strategy starts in the head, with the right attitude and clearly defined objectives. If the leader can outline the benefits of the strategy to his team, it will be embraced and realised. If not, it is doomed from the start. A leader needs to adopt the appropriate policies and procedures to practise good corporate governance. The plan needs to be:
- practical – it needs to make best use of the resources available
A goal shapes a plan, a plan shapes action, action sees results and results achieve success.
You need to know what you want and where you want to go.
How does one begin the journey of becoming a good leader? Start by defining your long term goals. Who do you eventually want to become, known as, remembered for? Then ask yourself what you will need to do to get there (these assist with pinning down your medium term goals) and then finally start with what needs to be done to kick start the process. These will outline your short term goals and immediate action needed. Write your goals down – committing them in writing makes them more tangible and you are then more likely to reach them. Use powerful verbs.
A dream is merely a goal without a timeline, so make yourself accountable by adding the timeline and action plan.