“Leadership is not a noun. It is a verb.” — John Maxwell
Leadership is a very complex topic and finding a proper definition for it can be quite daunting. It goes from the old days of war — when leadership was implemented and studied in the military forces — all the way up to the corporate and business world. I like to define leadership by describing what exceptional leaders are — their inner values, how they act, what they do, the relationships they have. After diving into this topic by observing the behavior of some of the great leaders I had the chance to work with and putting some theory into practice, I came up with traits that I consider essential to any successful leader:
- Leadership is based on trust. It’s the foundation to succeed in any leadership position. Why? Delegation. Without trust you will find yourself alone and incapable of finding someone that could support you in whatever task you have to do. In order to build trust with another person you have to start acting responsibly, respectfully, honestly and transparently. That is not an easy thing to accomplish though. It requires patience, devotion and passion for people.
- A leader does not wait for great things to happen. They make great things happen. Leaders are brave: they are the ones who take initiative in any kind of situations. They pursue their goals and go the extra mile to complete their duties without any excuses. This sort of behavior inspires people and opens their eyes to what could potentially be a role model.
- A true leader does not hide or run away from others. They are always available to their people. Title and position are just words when it comes to assisting or helping someone who needs some guidance. Leadership is about building bridges instead of walls.
- Leaders are hungry for knowledge and information. They seek their own continuous education and improvement by being curious about everything related to their expertise and from those present in their environment. Keep in mind: if you stop learning, you stop in time.
- Coaching and Mentoring are just as important as continuous learning. It is the duty of a leader to teach and spread his experience in order to help individuals to find their inner strength and perform at their best. Ask questions, actively listen, aggressively observe, provide encouragement and constructive feedback and people will feel empowered and motivated to work on their dreams.
If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants — Isaac Newton
Leadership is comparable to technology: It is an evolving area that constantly changes our behavior and day-to-day interaction with other humans. In order to become an outstanding leader, it is necessary to develop a set of skills that can influence people and positively impact their lives. And remember: Leadership is 10% theory and 90% practice.
Questions or comments? Leave me some feedback here or talk to me on GitHub.