Everyone knows that it is a leader's job to provide vision, mission, and strategy. But there is more that a leader must do.
Napoleon said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” A leader must believe that there is a way forward. She must believe that her organization can accomplish the greater vision she's laid out. If her belief isn’t strong and unwavering, no one else will believe. A leader believes a better future is possible, and leads her organization towards that future.
A leader teaches values and strategy. A leader teaches personal growth and professional development. A teacher is one who nurtures others, who ensures they grow. The fact that a leader is a teacher is the starting point for their building a leadership engine. That engine churns out more leaders and allows the organization to grow in the future.
People want meaning, values, and purpose. The leader provides the "why". Without a compelling reason why, people are not moved to give their best, to give their all. The leader provides that reason, and every day they lead by example.
It is this trust that enables them to use their own resourcefulness, their own imagination, and their own creativity to overcome the obstacles and challenges in their way. A great leader trusts their people to do what is right and what is necessary without having to tell them exactly what to do and exactly how to do it. This is how they gets the best performance from their team, and how they drive engagement.
There are not too many things more important for leader to do than building and protecting a culture. If an organization is going to have a healthy culture, one that is built on execution, excellence, and accountability for living their values, the leader is going to have to be the starting point for that culture. The leaders also going to be responsible for ensuring that that culture is not damaged by outside forces, or by inside forces who would disrupt, destroy or diminish that culture.
They must face reality. As Anthony Robbins says, a leader sees things as they are, but not worse than they are. It's only when you see things as they are that you can see what must be done to make them better. A leader isn't afraid of the ugly truth. He's afraid of not facing the ugly truth and by not doing so failing the people who are counting on him.
A leader knows they have done their job when they have brought up other leaders who can step in and grow the organization after they are done leading. A leader who has not built a pipeline of future leaders has failed in the role as a leader. Part of your job is obsolescence.
These are the absolute musts for a leader. This is the list a leader follows if they want to be an exceptional leader. It's all about people, and it's all about caring.
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