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5 ways for good leaders to become great

by on
in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Has your fast trip to the top given you a slightly enlarged head? Did it leave you isolated?

From this moment on, quit relying on what you already know, and start learning what you need to thrive at a higher altitude. Use these five points of reference:
  1. Break away from intuition and experience. Leadership can be counterintuitive, so keep studying examples of leadership for fresh insights.

  2. Don’t mistake technical competence for leadership. Knowing your trade brings you to the table, but good character lets you leave the table with followers. At this level, you don’t need to prove you can do the work so much as show why it must be done.

  3. Keep learning. Instinct may tell you to fall back on skills that were essential two levels ago. But remember: Now, you’re in charge.

    To learn the ways of your organization, operations and people — and herd them all in the same direction — continue educating yourself: Stay abreast of your industry and the world. Take a deep breath and ask your biggest critic about your flaws. Assemble a personal board of directors to meet quarterly for guidance and encouragement.

  4. Pass along what you know. You may never have received a helping hand yourself. That doesn’t matter now. Plow as much energy into teaching and cultivating successors as you do into your own education.

  5. Develop your sense of purpose. For peak performance, your people need to know what they should be doing and why they should care. Your job is to show them the way.
It may seem a bit out there, but your philosophy, values and mission all must be on display, loudly and repeatedly. Leaders are out there.

—Adapted from Great Leadership: What It Is and What It Takes in a Complex World, Antony Bell, Davies-Black.

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