Core components that define a good leader and positive leadership
Many of you who read this article will be aware of the fact that some of the most successful people in history have at some point in their lives been regarded as failures. It is well known for example that Vincent van Gogh was considered a very average painter and only sold one of his own pictures during his lifetime. Microsoft founder, Bill Gate’s first business, Traf-o-data, went bankrupt. Thomas Edison made over 1000 prototypes of the light bulb before one finally worked. Harrison Ford was told early in his career that he lacked any of the qualities that make a movie star. Stephen King and JK Rowling were both rejected numerous times by publishers before becoming hugely successful. So what, I hear you ask……
The key point of these examples is that all these people possessed potential and had the ability to learn from early errors and are perceived as being hugely successful and will remain role models for many generations to come. Furthermore these people believed in their own ability (or others did too) and found strength in adversity to overcome obstacles that lay before them.
The key learning point here is that most people aren’t overly confident, they lack inherent self-belief, they don’t necessarily back themselves and on the whole they are unwilling to take risks. This is mostly because, generally speaking, as human beings, we fear failure. Those of you who lead teams can identify plenty of people in your teams who demonstrate those behaviours in a work environment. As a leader you have the ability to identify and challenge those behaviours and misconceptions. As a leader, if you believe in your people, they in turn will believe in themselves. You need to make them see that each and every one of them has inherent strengths and potential and can contribute to the overall team success.
If you want to create a culture of success, as a leader you need to demonstrate a belief in your team and a belief that each and every individual has potential.
Some might argue that this is a laudable theory, but tough to put into practice. However, at High Performance Development, we believe that good leaders should inspire and motivate. As a leader if you believe in a team, they will believe in you, and just as importantly they will embrace the corporate culture, vision and values.
As a leader of your team:
- Encourage a shared approach to problem solving and embrace idea generation.
- Take a positive approach and help your team and individuals learn lessons from mistakes. Offer constructive feedback.
- Celebrate small milestones and successes that contribute towards attaining overall goals.
- Identify your team members’ individual strengths and capitalise on them.
- Offer genuine praise and encouragement as often as possible.
- Resist the temptation to write people off. Most people are responsive to development and change, but not all people are capable of doing this at an accelerated pace, so be patient.