I’ve thought about leadership for what seems like a lifetime. It seems there was some element of leadership training in almost every organization I’ve joined or worked for, from 4-H to Baptist Student Union to Urban Design Group.
Some of the highlights from those lessons are:
- Leaders make hard decisions.
- Leaders inspire others.
- Leaders see the big picture.
- Leaders are servants.
- Leaders not only get the right people on the bus, but in the right seats (thanks, Jim Collins!)
We all know the basics. Now that I’m knee-deep (neck-deep?) into some serious leadership roles, I find myself wondering what the critical skills are to be an effective leader. Here’s where I find myself struggling:
- Seeing people for who they are. I tend to see my team for what it can be, and get overly disappointed when they don’t live up to my expectations.
- Confronting team members about behaviors and actions that must change.
- Paying attention to the details as well as the big picture.
- Stoking the fire of inspiration with the reality of follow-through.
- Finding the balance between a servant heart and empowerment of the team.
Any suggestions? There has to be a way to keep the essence of your personality and philosophy, while still being an effective leader.