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What Does It Take to Become a Good Leader?

What does it take to become a good leader?

What Does It Take to become a Good Leader?

A "leader" is the member of a team who is responsible for the achievement of a valuable goal, and who is able to organise and motivate the other members of the team to work as an effective, cooperative union, which will achieve the goal in the most efficient manner possible.

That definition contains the seeds of the answer to the original question, "What does it take to become a good leader?"

The definition suggest the following seven leadership qualities:

  1. Responsible.
  2. Goal focused.
  3. Organised.
  4. Motivated.
  5. Motivating.
  6. Cooperative.
  7. Efficient.

1. Leaders are Responsible

Leaders are willing to take responsibility. That is a rare quality.

Many people don't want to take responsibility for the results. If something goes wrong, many people are quick to say, "It was not my fault. I am not responsible!"

But Leaders do the opposite. Leaders say, "I am responsible!"

You may not be to blame, but if you are the leader, then you are responsible.

TTR - Take Total Responsibility.

2. Goal Focused

The leader is there to ensure that the goal is achieved. Therefore, above all, the leader must be focused on the goal. The leader must be a Goal focused individual.

All leaders are goal focused individuals.

  • Richard Branson is focused on developing his space plane.
  • Margaret Thatcher was focused on breaking socialism.
  • Florence Nightingale was focused on the care of wounded soldiers.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte was focused on dominating Europe.
  • King Richard the Lion heart was focused on the Crusades to the holy land.

All these people were leaders because they focused their energy onto a point.

If you would be a leader, you need to focus your energies onto a point.

  • Goal focus is the 'good'.
  • A lack of Goal focus is the 'no-good'.

3. Organised

A leader is not the person who does all the work. The leader is the person who organises the work. They decide what will be done. They organise the team and delegate the work itself.

  • Richard Branson does not fly the space plane himself. He creates the organisation that causes it to happen.
  • Margaret Thatcher did not herself fight the miners on the picket line. She organised the police chiefs to make it happen.

To be a leader you need to be able to organise affairs. You need to be able to organise and delegate the right task to the right person.

Leaders are good at organising others.

If you want to be a good leader, don't try to do it all. Try to organise the others to do it.

4. Motivated

As the leader acts to achieve goals, he or she will be the object of much criticism, defeats and setbacks. Therefore the leader must be a self-motivator. The environment for leaders will often be demotivating. The leader must have the strength of character to be able to continue to feel strong, even when things are going badly. Things sometimes go badly for all leaders. It is then that they switch on their own personal motivation. This motivation emanates from the inside out. It is self-motivation.

If you want to be a leader, you need to know how to switch on your own self-motivation. You need to be able to stay strong, especially during tough times.

5. Motivating

As we have already noted, the leader is a good self-motivator.

They also need to be able to rally the troops and motivate the rest of the group, especially during tough times. You will notice that great leaders are often great communicators. They have developed the gift of the gab. They have the ability to make their words count. They use language very carefully. They have developed the language of leadership.

If you would be a good leader, then you need to develop your communication skills.

6. Cooperative

The greatest of all leaders have the ability to generate a team spirit in a group, whereby every member of the group is working for the good of the group. In the best teams there is a good team spirit. All members of the team are looking out for their team mates and everyone has each other's back. Think of the motto of the Three Musketeers:

"All for one; and one for all."

Make their motto, yours too.

7. Efficient

All great teams do more than "achieve the goal". They "achieve the goal in the most efficient manner possible". This means that the leader organises things so that the maximum progress is being made in the minimum time, using the minimum resource.

The formula for work efficiency is:

Value of your Work
Volume of your work.

Your aim is to achieve maximum values (maximum progress) in the minimum amount of time, money and effort expended.

So you need to make sure that no work is being done, that is not related to the goal; no money is being misspent or wasted; no time is being wasted. You need to keep an eye on the amount of progress being made. If there is not sufficient progress in reasonable time, then the leader notices the shortfall and makes the necessary corrections.

If you want to be a better leader, then become fully aware of the efficiency rating of the team and is always striving to improve it.

Summary

A leader is a member of a team who is primarily responsible for the achievement of a valuable goal, and who is able to organise and motivate the members of the team to work as an effective, cooperative union, that will achieve the goal in the most efficient manner possible.

Here is advice for you as a leader.

  1. TTR. Take Total Responsibility.
  2. If you would be a leader, focus your energies onto a single point.
  3. Switch on your own self-motivation. You need to be able to stay strong.
  4. Develop your communication skills.
  5. Don't try to do it all. Try to organise the others to do it.
  6. All for one; and one for all. Make that your motto.
  7. Become fully aware of the efficiency rating of the team and always strive to improve it.

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