Years ago I read an article on how a pack of wolves is composed of a diverse group, each with their own role to play. At the front, they had three older and sick members who set the pace for the rest of the pack. Next, we have the five strongest wolves who safeguard the front from any potential threats. The middle of the pack is well protected, while the remaining five of the strongest wolves guard the rear. Finally, the last wolf is the LEADER, responsible for the well-being of each and every member of the pack. It’s important to note that being a leader isn’t just about being in front, it’s about ensuring the safety and success of the entire team.
Leadership is a vital aspect of any successful organization, as it has a direct impact on the productivity and efficiency of a team. A true leader is one who possesses a unique combination of qualities that inspire and motivate others to reach their full potential. What does it look like to be a true leader? What are those qualities that one needs to lead a team into the proverbial battle and come out victorious? Here is what I believe are the characteristics of a true leader and how they impact productivity and performance, as well as provide solutions on how to create, mold and mentor individuals into becoming true leaders.
To begin, a true leader must have excellent communication skills. This means they must be able to articulate their vision, goals, and expectations clearly and effectively. When a leader is able to communicate their ideas effectively, it helps the team to understand their role and the goals they are working towards, which in turn leads to increased motivation and productivity.
In addition to effective communication, a true leader must have a clear vision. This vision must align with the organization’s goals and be communicated clearly to the team. A leader with a clear vision is better equipped to navigate the challenges that arise, as they have a roadmap to follow. One of my favorite books on leadership is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babinis in the book they state, “Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking ownership of everything within your control, and doing whatever it takes to produce the desired outcome.” Leadership is a critical component of any successful organization, as it directly affects the productivity and performance of a team.
Another crucial characteristic of a true leader is empathy. Empathy allows a leader to understand the perspectives and feelings of their team, which in turn leads to better relationships and increased trust. When a leader is empathetic, they are able to connect with their team members and inspire them to achieve their best. We must strive to not only communicate, but understand that each person processes information differently, therefore in order for us to execute the task and or mission at hand we must be more empathetic with our team in order for them to process the information and thrive.
True leaders must also have the courage to take bold actions and make tough decisions. When a leader is willing to make the tough calls, it inspires confidence and trust in their team. It also sets the tone for a culture of excellence, where everyone is expected to perform at their best. This is a critical quality, as it inspires confidence and trust in the team and sets the tone for a culture of excellence. Here are a two examples of bold decisions that leaders made, which ultimately allowed them to be successful:
- Steve Jobs and the iPhone: When Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, introduced the iPhone in 2007, it was a high-risk move that disrupted the entire smartphone industry. Despite skepticism from many in the tech industry, Jobs believed in the product and took the risk to bring it to market. Today, the iPhone is one of the most successful products in history.
- General George Patton: General George Patton is known for his bold leadership during World War II. He famously made the bold decision to pivot his forces and attack the German army in Africa, a move that allowed the Allies to secure a decisive victory. Despite facing significant obstacles, Patton’s bold leadership and decisive action allowed him to achieve success and become one of the most iconic military leaders in history.
These are just a few examples of leaders who made bold decisions, even in the face of obstacles, which ultimately allowed them to be successful. When a leader is willing to take risks and make bold decisions, it inspires confidence and trust in their team and sets the tone for a culture of excellence, which leads to increased productivity and improved task execution. Finally, a true leader must be deeply committed to excellence. This means they are always striving to improve themselves and their team. When a leader sets the bar high and is committed to excellence, it inspires their team to do the same. A culture of excellence leads to increased productivity and improved task execution, which ultimately leads to success.
To create, mold, and mentor individuals into becoming true leaders, organizations must invest in leadership development programs. These programs should focus on developing the skills and qualities that make a great leader, including communication, vision, empathy, courage, and a commitment to excellence. Additionally, organizations should also provide opportunities for leadership growth and development, such as mentorship programs and leadership workshops.
In conclusion, developing true leadership is key to elevating team productivity and task execution. A true leader must possess excellent communication skills, a clear vision, empathy, courage, and a deep commitment to excellence. Organizations must invest in leadership development programs to create, mold and mentor individuals into becoming true leaders. By doing so, they can inspire those around them to perform at their best and achieve success.