There was once a female entrepreneur named Jill. With her exceptional technical savvy, she created innovative designs and started a company to commercialize products based on her designs. There was strong demand for the products and she was fortunate to surround herself with a skilled leadership team.
It looked like they were bound to succeed. In terms of technology and business know-how, they were top of the class. Unfortunately, in other areas the leadership team had not yet reached full development. A culture of complaining and vying for position began to take over the organization. Soon productivity plummeted, and they were no longer meeting the marketing potential for their products.
This is a story that is all too common, but the ending may surprise you. Knowing that her company was in jeopardy, Jill sought coaching from a mentor she respected and she worked hard at changing her own behaviour. Yes, you read correctly. Her first thought was not...
Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that would not have happened otherwise.
To be a leader, you need to:
Be a "person of influence" by adding value to others
We're all familiar with these qualities and recognize them in good leaders we have known. But this list is missing one important quality of leadership.
A good leader must be able to deal with criticism constructively.
Criticism was not something I used to handle well, especially in my earliest leadership positions. Looking back, I recognize that some of the decisions I made in those positions were focused on making people like me.
In other words, my decisions were motivated by a desire to avoid criticism. Unfortunately, some of those decisions were not good for my employer or my immediate career. Plus, some of those decisions did not turn out well for the people I was supposed to be leading.
Aristotle said, "Criticism is something you can avoid--by...