I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. — Alexander the Great
It was a thought that randomly came to me, how important a leader is in any scenario. Be it in a family, business, or community. The thought came when personal experience of myself and those around me kept coming up and what I noticed is that, why is there so much pain?
Doing my own projects and gigs in the past was easy. As things change in my life, working with other people became an important part of work. I am not alone when I say bad leadership has impacted my productivity, emotional health and overall happiness.
Why exactly does good leadership matter? You might think, as long as the team is strong, you’ll have nothing to worry about, right? Wrong.
Alexander the Great’s quote is one that should resonate with all leaders. It doesn’t matter how talented and strong your team/employees are, but if the one leading them is the weak link, you’re not going to achieve anything. Bad leadership is not just about performance, it is about personal well-being and also can have a long-term or even permanent detrimental effect(s) on you.
Leading is not a popularity contest, neither is it about power. Popular to contrary belief, fear is not the way to lead people to greatness. Influence, inspiration and respect are what brings greatness out of people…
You’ve read posts like that; I’m not here to bore you with things you’ve already read in the past.
Leading is about knowing what’s right. It’s about being able to understand and relate to your employees. You don’t need to exactly really know them but just know them. You’ll find the occasional LinkedIn post about how knowing your employees is important. Being able to know them enough to show that they matter, goes a long way to making them feel they belong.
Understand that words have an impact on people. Telling people that their work means nothing or is going in the wrong direction, affects people in different ways and to some, it can be bad for their well-being. Being a good leader is about knowing how to lead and how to motivate. Knowing people and understanding how they function; not playing scientist and trying out psychological experiments on your employees (we all know that is sick).
Knowing the business. Leaders are expected to know the business and know what to do next. You can, and should always ask for feedback and even open the stage to the whole company so that everyone has an input on how best to improve the business, however, when you do that too often, are you really leading?
A leader needs to be good at making decisions and evaluating, without input from people. A leader delegate work, gathers information, study them, evaluate options and make decisions. Because you call the shots. You should not be in control of every aspect to the minute detail, but you should have the big picture on your board at all times.
You lead your team to your ultimate goal, whatever it may be. Your work is to tell other people what needs to be done or the goal that the department needs to achieve and make sure they get there.
Responsibility of fault, is as important as responsibility of success.
If the leader of a rowboat fail to instruct its rowers to turn the boat or the boat continues straight when they’re meant to turn, is it really the rowers’ fault? You can argue that the rowers already knew where they need to go, but they follow the leader and if the leader fails, so does the whole boat.
A lack of clear instructions is what sets most ships to sink. I’ve encountered countless situations where I’m tasked with a job/objective/goal, but being managed, I am tasked to get there in a specific way. Being given a very vague direction, “Just go that way”, it’s difficult for me to do my job. Cause where is exactly ‘that way’?
Communication. Influence. Understanding. Respect.
I can’t tell you how to be a good leader, cause I am sometimes not a good leader myself. What I can do, is ask you to read the above and consider the points on there. This is not an in-depth piece, but I feel that this need to be out there.