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VIEWPOINT: Leadership is influence

Great leaders lead through inspiration, persuasion and personal relations and others through authority and power.  Great leaders have the confidence to stand alone, the compassion to listen to the needs of others, and the courage to make tough decisions. Great leaders become leaders by the fairness of their actions and the truthfulness of their focus and not by wanting to be leaders. Great leadership is an essential key to personal success.

Different types of leadership bring different challenges and opportunities. The three main types are: autocratic: dominates, doing it my way without any input from others; democratic: consulting with others, gathering information and collective decision-making and laissez-faire: A non-authorian leadership style, also known as delegative leadership.

How do you see yourself? How can you use your style to have greater influence over others? Know your style, capitalise on opportunities, and mitigate risks within your way of leading.

What are the other characteristics of a great leader?

Research shows the key qualities found in top leaders are:

– Example: Raise your bar on personal values and norms and make honesty and ethical behaviour key principles (team will follow);

– Self-awareness: Know your strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and limitations;

– Delegate: Identify the strengths of your team and empower them.

– Communication: Describe goals clearly and succinctly and listen when you’re needed.

– Confidence: Master this (with a coach maybe) and your legacy will echo through eternity.

– Creativity: Think outside the box.

– Intuition: Trust yourself.

– Inspire: Get your team to be vested in the company’s successes as if it’s their own.

– Strategic: Cultivate a bigger-picture attitude with a focus on goals, strategy and actions.

– Know your people: Master social networks and serve your staff.

– Have fun: Staff want to enjoy themselves (work hard, play hard).

Measure yourself against these qualities and build and emphasise them in your portfolio of leadership.

Leadership is about people. You can’t be successful by yourself and you can’t be a great leader without great people to lead.

You must talk the talk and walk the walk. You will be respected as a leader by getting your hands dirty and innovating yourself. Learn how to balance leading by example and empowering others to lead themselves and you will be a great leader.

Now: Inspire others to dream, learn, do and become more and you will be a great leader. ❐

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA)