The skills and traits that make it an effective leader are too numerous and varied to fit together on one list. Although there are so many ways to be an inefficient leader, this list of ten missing ingredients is a good start for what matters and why.
- No vision: A leader is responsible for the future. Creating this future requires vision because you can not reach a target that you can not see. As a leader, you must see the future, the obstacles and what needs to change to make your vision a reality. You are responsible for change, and if what you were doing now brought your vision to life, you would have realized it already. Without vision, you can not provide it to the rest of your team. When you 'drift', the company drifts.
- No reader: A chef wants. They are driven to reach, to produce results. Vision and motivation empower the leader's initiatives and the people in charge. It instills in the organization the will to take action and pushes them. If you are not driven (as by an invisible force), your people will not be either. If you do not continue, they will not do it with you. You are responsible for the motivation.
- No standards: The leader sets the standards. They decide what is good, true and beautiful. They also establish what is not negotiable. The obvious non-tradable values are values, such as integrity, which seem obvious but still need to be defended. Other non-negotiable ones are not so obvious, but they are just as necessary and equally worthy of a solid defense. What people do with their time, how they prioritize their initiatives and projects and how certain tasks are accomplished must be aligned with the vision. Low standards – or worse, no standards – are the cause of vision loss.
- No compassion: The best leaders care. They care about their business, but they also care about their dependents. They expect both to develop under their responsibility. The best leader you have ever seen has seen something in you that you have not seen. She helped you see what was invisible to you and pushed you to become something more than you were. To bring your vision to life, you must lead your people to growth. Their capacity is the capacity of your organization. Without care, you will not liberate the creative power of your people and your vision will be lost.
- No responsibility: As a leader, you can not bring your vision to life. You are responsible for fulfilling this vision, but your responsibility must be passed on to your team members, who must then be passed on to their team members. If each person does not achieve the result that he must create, his failure becomes that of the person who directs it. Their failure is up to the leader at one level. It is not easy to create or maintain a culture of responsibility and, once lost, it is even harder to recover, which often requires a complete transformation. If there is no responsibility, or if the responsibility is not defeated, it is the fault of the chief.
- No communication: All that is listed above this line must be communicated. The communication must be clear and unambiguous. It must also be delivered consistently. A lack of communication exposes the leader to lose vision, motivation, standards and responsibility. Nothing that a chef says is true when he says it only once. If this does not happen again and again, it will not become real. Each conversation should refer to vision, motivation, standards and responsibilities. If you do not always communicate these things, they will not matter.
- No will: A leader must be patient and persistent. As a leader, you will be tested. Some will try to wait for you, convinced that you will eventually give up your vision. Others will nibble the limits of your standards, lowering them to make things easier. If allowed, many will avoid accountability, preferring not to accept responsibility for a goal or outcome. Every day, your will will be tested. There is no way for you to divide the difference; either you set the standards and insist on them, or you accept the poor performance and you sacrifice your vision.
- No decisionMost of what a leader does in his world comes in the form of decisions. The refusal to make decisions, large or small, is not to drive. Some decisions are strategic and difficult to make when you do not have perfect information. Avoiding the decision does not improve things and delays the expected results. Other decisions, no matter how difficult, are obvious and must be made as soon as possible. It is a form of negligence not to decide and act and that prevents the rest of the group you are leading from acting or producing the result you need.
- No reflection: A leader needs to think. They must read, pay attention to what is happening in the world and what it means for them and for the people and organizations for which they are responsible. Thinking is demanding and difficult work, perhaps the most difficult. One of the reasons it is difficult to make decisions is that you have not done the work necessary to think about it. Good leaders spend time thinking, often alone with their thoughts. The poor leaders think they know everything they need.
- No example: The leader is the example. Your dependents are a reflection of you. They become what you are. If you embody everything you want your organization to be, they will become it. If you are not the example, they will miss a template. Or worse, their model will be someone who is not aligned with you or your vision. You must be excellent for your people to be excellent.
Like anything written in negative, go back and find a way to improve your leadership.
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