I am only a few months away from 28 years with my current employer. That is one long time. When I started back in 1982, I would have never thought that I would be here for that long. When I look back over those years, I have been blessed with a couple of items. First, I have had opportunities that have allowed me to move to many different areas to help me increase my overall skills and knowledge. Second, I have worked with some amazing people. Since my blog is mostly about leadership – I want to focus on the amazing leaders that I have been around and what makes them amazing.
It is far too easy to point out the negatives in people. We can easily spot the stuff that we don’t like. I do it some of the time and it kills me when I focus that way. So, I am going to focus on the stuff that I like and admire in true leaders. What makes them special? Why do I want to follow them? Even to the point of taking a position that was not as enjoyable. Below you will see the list of items that I feel as the best of the best:
- Setting a clear vision – and communicates to everyone. It is like a map to help me get to where I need to go. I don’t need the exact route, I just need to see the overall map. The great one’s in this area, set that vision and clearly and get the troops rallied on that vision.
- Knows and understand their organization – it is mostly about people. Time to understand your organization and how to get the people engaged and charging to meet the org’s goals. I have seen, one leader in particular, meet and greet everyone in the organization – every time they are face to face. Call out the person by name, discuss what they are working on and how is the family. This leader knew every person, their work and the family. This personal touch was called out by many folks as rare, very rare.
- Setting the example – doing just as they speak. Every opportunity to interact with people, gave them a chance to be the example that they wanted the rest of the organization to be. They treated everyone with respect and dignity. Praise was very public. Anything negative was very private. Celebrate when we won! They were all about actions, not the words. One particular leader told me, “All eyes are on me, all the time. I have to be the example. I want to be the example.”
- Represent the group – with every opportunity. The words “we” and “us” are used more that “I” or “them.” Everyone is in this together. Calling out the organization over their name associated with an activity.
- Facilitator of learning– pushing the organization to continue to learn and grow. Learning is something that each person needs to do, but sometimes the day to day activities will push that to the back-burner. With the true leader, this is not the case. Learning and growing were just as important as getting the job done. In fact, most made this part of the job. Using every opportunity as a learning opportunity; for themselves or for their people – did not matter.
Any others that standout to you? Did any of these remind you of someone?