7 things about leadership that most people don’t know

When it comes to leadership, most people focus on the activities that good leaders must accomplish or the leadership attributes they should possess or develop. Here Diane Johnson and Bruce Hamilton share some things that leaders need to understand about themselves and the impact they have on others that are just as important.

Leadership is like karate Great leaders don’t only possess the leadership skills needed to be successful, such as being able to set strategic direction, to build relationships and to deliver results. By really understanding themselves and the impact they have on others, they are better at inspiring their people, engaging them in their joint enterprise and getting the most out of their teams. This article discloses seven insights that will make you a more effective leader. Some of them ask you to consider how you think about yourself and how you act; others ask you to reflect upon how you interact with others. They are all extremely valuable and will cost you precisely nothing!

1. It is the doing, not the knowing that really counts

It’s important for a leader to have a coherent strategy but the key to success is execution. Brilliant execution can rescue a poor strategy but it doesn’t matter how good the strategy is if the execution is lousy!

2. Leadership is just like karate

…you never reach the point of knowing all there is to know. It is a lifelong journey of discovery and rediscovery so never content yourself with the present.

3. You will impact other people’s lives in a profound way

Whether you are doing it very well, very badly, or in a mediocre way, as a leader you will make a genuine difference to people’s lives – something to think about when you do that next self-assessment.

4. Stay healthy

What most people don’t know about leadership is that mastery of your own health and wellbeing is a prerequisite for leading with resilience when the going gets tough. Leadership is not just intellectual, emotional and attitudinal, it’s also physical!

5. Treat relationships like bank accounts

If you take out more than you put in you will quickly get into trouble. As Mr Micawber said in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought shillings and six pence, result misery.” As with money, so with relationships – it pays to stay in credit.

6. Acts of kindness make you memorable

It is often simple and spontaneous acts of kindness that make a leader particularly memorable –perhaps because they are unexpected

7. Everyone is equally a member of the team, including the leader

If you want to lead a successful team, treat your fellow team members with equal respect and consideration to show you really are all in it together. Small gestures, such as getting the morning brews, doing the butty run, or tidying up the communal kitchen, are powerful ways to reaffirm your membership status. Don’t ask, or expect, other people to do what you wouldn’t do yourself.

Most people in leadership positions want to improve because they understand the importance of providing effective leadership. The first step in personal development is self-awareness – knowing what you need to reinforce and what to work on. The problem is that we can never know everything so it makes sense to stop and think about things we may not know, such as these seven insights.

The second step in personal development is to take responsibility for doing something about it. This is especially important, as we never see ourselves as others see us. TLP can provide you with that extra perspective, one that will develop your self-awareness and kick-start improvement so why not get in touch and find out how?