The Foundation of Good Leadership

Leadership is one of the most promoted teachings.  However, leadership should not be taken lightly. It is an evolution that requires hard work and dedication to become an effective leader.

To start off on the right track, one must first recognize what one does not know and take initiative to seek out the knowledge necessary for leadership. This can include engaging in webinars, reading blogs and articles, and books. 

Evolution Of Leadership

From my perspective, being a good leader is an evolution. You evolve into a good leader first by improving your knowledge of what you are leading in.  You can lead without having the knowledge in your field. Second, you become a leader by gaining experience as a follower, not only of your field of expertise but of others who are leaders in your field. 

Becoming a leader is a process.  There are key steps you can apply and re-apply to get better at leadership.  

Know What You Don’t Know

You have heard it said, that you don’t know what you don’t know.  But to become a leader you need to know what you don’t.  You need to admit when you don’t have the answer and you need to seek the knowledge that is necessary.

Be Kaizen 

To be a good leader you have to improve on what you know. Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement”. It is key to leadership, as leadership requires continuous learning and striving for betterment. With leadership comes more responsibility and with more responsibility comes the need to improve in order to effectively lead.  It is a constant loop.

Be Intentional

Be intentional about your goal to be a leader.  This means that you have to put in the time and effort to become a leader.  You must know what leadership looks like, have an idea of what leadership should look like for your field, and be able to step into leadership when the opportunity arises.

Identify a Great Leader

Finally, identify a great leader to be your mentor or role model.  By observing and learning from those who have succeeded in leadership, you can get a better understanding of how to lead yourself.  Their example will also serve as motivation for your leadership journey.  Keep in mind that a person who mentors you is giving of their time and knowledge.  Be respectful and grateful for that.

Learn to be a great follower & server of others

Leadership is not only about leading people and projects but also learning to be a great follower and server of others.  It is important to understand that leadership requires trust, respect, humility, and the ability to serve others.  By taking initiative in serving others within the team, you will demonstrate leadership qualities while still being part of the group.

Define your value offer to others

Leadership also requires that you define your value offer to others.  Think about what skills and knowledge you have that can be of help to those around you.  Consider how these skills and knowledge can benefit the team, organization, or project you are leading.  By offering something of value, people will recognize your leadership qualities in you and this will create leadership opportunities for you.

Bring value, bring value, bring value

Leadership is all about bringing value to the table.  It is not just about having great ideas or managing people.  It is also about offering valuable advice and insight, inspiring others with your leadership style, and providing guidance and leadership when needed. With this in mind, make sure you are constantly striving to bring value to the team or organization you are leading.

These key steps will help you on your leadership journey and ensure that you become a successful leader in your field or organization.  As leadership is an evolution, keep applying these principles so you can continuously refine your leadership skills and become the best version of yourself.