“Bet (on) the jockey, not the horse” is a popular venture capitalist adage. Many people have a great idea (or “horse“), but an entrepreneur (or “jockey“) with strong management skills (or a management team in place) stands a better chance of achieving success with the idea.
I believe the same applies to teams or units, even companies. I would say be fair to note that with the bad leader even the best team won’t rise up to the top performance. Leadership can make or break any business, team or unit. There are a few key things that I see as vital factors to consider when you asses your own leadership style.
Think about If the leader sufferers from poor integrity. From my perspective integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word. And if you don’t? Employees look to their leaders for examples of what behavior is acceptable. You don’t keep your word, so why should they?
My favorite has become communications. Not because I’d master it, but since I need to keep constantly practicing it. Communication is not how much you’re able to push information out in the open, a big part of it is to listen and hear. Sadly that part is often forgotten. Good leaders first need to be able to listen intently then communicate clearly.
Employees need to know they are working for a leader who will give them credit when they deserve and not throw them under the bus when things go wrong. Some leaders, though, are unable or unwilling to shoulder this responsibility and that kind of behavior does very little to motivate a team to succeed.
“Oh, but we’ve always done it like this…” Sounds familiar? Not all employees are motivated by the same factors, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach that will work in every situation. In this world where development ends to satisfactions, adaptability is vital.
The leader can be the greatest obstacle or greatest enabler for success. To know which you are is to be able to listen to others. The job of a leader is to push forward, towards better tomorrow. They aim for better, more productive, more efficient tomorrow and demonstrates continuous improvement in all areas of business, not just with financial aspects.
They also aim towards their vision.
A good leader enables success for the team!
Whether you’re trying to spar someone who wants to be a leader, or aiming to improve your own skillset I hope you visit these factors to reflect where you stand at the moment. These are also something to look for in a new recruitment candidate or when thinking about your successor.
No matter the case, remember that great leaders must demonstrate integrity, adaptability, vision, accountability and communication skills to effectively lead their teams to success.