As I looked over my life, I have realized that I have always been in some type of leadership position or had a degree of influence. But having a position or influence doesn’t make you a good leader. Over the years I have tried to grow, develop and equip myself with the tools to become a good and even a great leader.
For almost two decades I have been studying leadership and applying what I have learned to my own leadership. I have had the great opportunity to lead in many capacities and in great organizations. Organizations like the United States Army, Department of Defense, University of Maryland University College, Living In Victory Alliance and International Gospel Church to name a few.
I have been fortunate to have others call me their mentor, leader, and team chief, and what I have learned over the years is that leadership is really about four essential things. Let’s look at these essentials.
The first essential I have learned is that great leaders LOVE people and love what they do. Leadership is about people and developing those people to become the best they can be. It’s not about the bottom line or seeing your vision or dream come to pass. Great leaders know that when they help their team succeed, they will succeed. The team will want you to succeed. Leaders that want to be great LOVE what they do, and what they DO is make others better.
Next essential leaders have is an ability to EQUIP others. I study and seek out the best principles and practices to SHARE with my team. I understand my development is my team’s asset. Equipping is empowering your team to be the best. A leader that wants to be the smartest in the group will never empower the team; they will attempt to keep team members in the dark.
The third essential is APPRECIATION. Great leaders will demonstrate appreciation for their team and the work the team does. Whether a person is an employee or volunteer, they should be appreciated. Many people think that because they are paying someone to do a job, or provide a service that the pay is thanks or appreciation enough. This is the wrong attitude to have. Look for opportunities to tell your team you appreciate their continued support of the company, team, project and your leadership.
Lastly, great leaders DEMONSTRATE what they expect from their team members. Whether it is respect, excellence, punctuality, going the extra mile or keeping the standard. When you demonstrate these traits, it is easier to get your team members to follow. Be first to DEMONSTRATE what you want to see.
Leaders that L.E.A.D, Love, Equip, Appreciate and Demonstrate!!!