What are the keys to leadership? In a world that craves sound leadership, debates continue on what that means. Does leadership mean that people take strong stands? Do good leaders ask more questions or make quick decisions? Who are your leaders? Are you encouraging all of your people to be leaders, or are you viewing leadership as something for those at the top?
Some people definitely seem to be born with more of an interest in or talent for leadership, but we can all be leaders, in our own way.
Leadership means someone needs to lead. And in today’s world, leadership is not just reserved for the C Suite. Many people can step up to the plate and be a leader. When stress hits, remember to lead. Here’s an acronym to help you remember the keys to leadership.
Leadership begins with love – not in a romantic, sappy way. Leadership starts with acting like you care about your work, the people around you, and the customers you serve. That’s not always what we see in our organizations, but when we do see that genuine care and concern, it’s transformative.
Imagine a tough decision that your organization has to make. Is the bottom line the driving factor behind the decision? What happens when we change the driving factor to love? What happens when we make the decision that’s best for the people?
When a company is quick to recall a dangerous product, pays a sustainable wage, and has generous leave times built into its benefits package, it sends a message that people are more important than the almighty dollar, or euro, or bitcoin.
The greatest educators are not behind a podium spouting truths that students dutiful record in their notebooks and giving tests that measure a student’s mastery of those truths. The greatest educators are those who inspire others to learn, to grow, and to achieve.
The best leaders are not the ones who crave or cling to power. They empower others. They breed leaders in their organizations. When they see a young person with leadership interests, they rearrange responsibilities to give that person more opportunity.
And when people work for great leaders, they will bend over backwards to please him or her.
Leaders use their voices wisely to advocate for what is right. Advocates are about supporting, championing, endorsing, and crusading for their causes. Advocates stay focused on the vision and the people who will carry it out. That might include going up against HR to support a raise for a highly effective young person. It might mean initiating a new project to improve safety in the organization.
Leaders are not afraid to lobby for a better way of doing something. They are not afraid to buck the system when the system is wrong. They are able to productively engage with clients when an opportunity exists to improve the status quo.
Leaders deliver results. A strong publicly traded company delivers solid earnings per share for its stockholders. A strong legal team will satisfy its clients with a good outcome. Strong startups will hopefully deliver a good payout to investors. A strong project team delivers the requested scope, in a timely fashion and at the agreed upon price. Strong leaders make good decisions, when needed, while empowering those around them to lean in.
Sound leadership requires results. Are your project teams delivering them?
Love. Educate. Advocate. Deliver. Maybe this acronym will help you remember the keys to leadership.
Sign up for my newsletter if you want some more tips.