What Makes A Great Leader? - In Search of Unconventional Leadership Wisdom
Posted on August 30, 2011 by Neal Burgis, One of Thousands of Executive Coaches on Noomii.
As a leader, what gives you the extraordinary differences to move ahead of your competition while still leading your organization in the 21st Century?
Sitting in the Ivory Tower is not for unconventional leaders who sometimes deviate from their original roadmap. They have unconventional thinking and imagination that they use for their organization to succeed. Their unconventional wisdom puts a new spin on leadership. A new model for professional achievement is needed in our 21st Century economy. It requires discarding many of our traditional notions about how to succeed.
Here are seven tips to What Makes a Great Leader:
1. <b>See the Big Picture</b>: Great leaders are able to see the big picture and make sure that their entire company sees it as well. This includes having employees knowing the company’s vision and long-term outlook.
The idea of “seeing the big picture” gives clarity and direction in knowing where you are leading your company and your employees. This requires the fact that your actions must be aligned with your business goals.
2. <b>Make Sound Decisions</b>: An essential requirement needs to be effective leaders who have very good decision making skills, even the unconventional leaders. This is to ensure that strategically sound decisions are made to result in positive outcomes for the company. Unconventional leaders have the confidence and know how to take risks in their decisions and making them pay off.
3. <b>Keep Cool Under Pressure</b>: A great leader never lets their team see them sweat. Ranting and raving is not a sign of even a good manager. In times of crisis, employees typically look to their company leader to remain calm under pressure and handle the situation.
An unconventional leader is going to respond to situations in a different manner than conventional leaders. From what I have observed, when it comes to situations where leaders react or respond to situations, they handle the current situation and the crisis ends with nothing gained except how a situation was handled at that moment. On the other hand, when an unconventional leader handles the same situation, they deal with the situation and implement policies and procedures to make sure the situation is not repeated. As a result, the conventional leader and their employees go back to the same management policies and procedures as before the firefighting took place. Where as the unconventional leader and their organization is able to grow from this experience.
These great leaders know how to handle pressure. Having the know how to recognize a pressured situation, control their emotions, and move their company forward is within their toolbox of talents.
4. <b>Know Good People Skills</b>: Most people want to be effective in their work. Effective unconventional leaders go beyond making sure that their employees are supported. They assist in developing their employees; they inspire their employees by telling them the company’s compelling vision, and then ask the employees to contribute to this vision; they are catalysts with the ability to initiate and lead and manage the company to new directions when it is appropriate to do so; and they use and have all of their employees master their own Emotional Intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management). In return, the leader and their employees experience their contributions in improved growth, teamwork, company vision, job satisfaction, and profitability.
In an unconventional organization, the company’s leader, in most cases, give praise to all employees. They would find a way to give all employees recognition for any and every task performed. This way the leader makes everyone feel good about themselves and for working in a company that cares about them.
5. <b>Adapt Quickly to New Situations</b>: Since change is a constant, unconventional leaders know they need to change their entire organization to reflect new applications for their products and services, and they are able to shift gears quickly in the direction where they take their company and where their company now needs to go. In order to adapt to new situations, the unconventional leader is open to change and to new directions; the unconventional leader embraces new thoughts and ideas. In order to adapt to new situations, new strategies need to be put in place.
6. <b>Keep Positive Optimism</b>: When you produce positive results, it is due to the positive actions you use and portray. In staying positive and bringing out the best in themselves, unconventional leaders also tap into their employees and employee resources in order to reach their maximum potential from their organization and stay ahead of others.
A great leader encourages their team to perform no matter the odds. The leader is the positive force that keeps everyone motivated to win. As a business leader, your company leadership should include a positive attitude that will affect you and your employees.
Dana Lightman, Ph.D. stated that power optimists are valuable because of the following:
<b>Proactive = Goal Achievers</b>
o Open-Minded = Innovative Thinkers
o Well-Informed = Opportunity Seeking
o Evolving = Continuous Learners
o Resilient = Adaptable Change Agent
This is where unconventional leaders go beyond the basics. They use every one of these values to their full advantage, and then they do it, succeeding in what they want to do.
7. <b>Learn Constantly</b>: Besides being fast learners, unconventional leaders are open to continuous learning from a variety of sources, especially from those who have already been in the trenches of leadership. They study leadership which they believe is an essential part of lifelong learning. These other experiences and challenges help maximize their leadership impact.
In summary, many unconventional leaders, who are down-to-earth mavericks, sometimes feel that are reinventing their company in order to be a trail blazer as they bring their unique perspectives to life. It sets the stage for how your company can move forward with thinking and strategizing a little off center from where you are currently. The challenge for the leader is to both implement changes to their organization and work through the above seven tips with their employees.
Follow these seven tips of “What Makes A Great (Unconventional) Leader” and see how your company can do better in its thinking and as a result, gain a competitive edge. As your focus needs to shift slightly with the paradigm shift changes in management, so to does your company’s strategies and thoughts of using the talent of your employees for a more productive workplace.