There are as many different styles of leadership as there are leaders. Leadership is not about organizational power. It’s about influence and personal qualities and how your vision motivates the minds and hearts of those you lead. It’s about helping others focus on achieving not only the right business goals but also the right personal goals.
A leader must see the future in a way that is different from others, seeing possibilities where others see confusion. But the leader’s vision must be so compelling that others can be inspired to overcome concerns, insecurities, and reasons not to change and be propelled collectively into that future.
To lead others, you must be able to communicate this vision clearly. A consistent message and a clearly stated vision, repeated often, will give people confidence and trust in where you take the organization. Help people to see your vision through their own eyes; when the vision transforms from “the leader’s” to “ours” the real teamwork and feeling of shared accomplishment can begin. Personal integrity is an important part of leadership that is lasting. A charismatic person may motivate others to follow for a time, but true leadership is the ability to inspire others to carry a vision forward.
I have come to appreciate that being inclusive is an engine of innovation: diverse teams working collaboratively can create ideas that generate far greater results than the efforts of a single individual. We will remain viable and grow to meet the challenges ahead only if we continue to engage and attract the best and brightest as judged by what they bring to the table in terms of thinking and teaming skills, perspective and problem solving, and performance excellence that generates results.