What does it take to be a good leader? If you ask five people that question, you’ll likely get five different answers.
Leaders share the vision and chart the course to success for an organization. Everything rises and falls on leadership.
Here’s a different question: What does it take to be led well? Everyone deserves to be led well.
I recently spent three amazing days with New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell and about 2,000 of his certified coaches. I’m honored to be part of that team. Mark Cole, president and CEO of Maxwell Leadership, shared 10 tips to lead our teams well. You may already do some of these, but I want to encourage you to work on all 10.
First, you need commitment. Nobody wants a wishy-washy leader. My husband always says being in the middle of the road will get you run over. Leaders with a strong commitment to the cause are like a magnet. People are drawn to them.
Next, you deserve a leadership environment that challenges you. It will help you grow. Without challenges, you’ll be stuck and won’t reach your potential.
The third tip to leading well is providing your team with leadership skill development. People don’t grow accidentally. It doesn’t happen just by doing your job every day. I know what you’re going to say: “We don’t have time for professional development. We’re too busy doing our jobs.” Actually, you can’t afford not to provide your team growth opportunities because you’ll never be able to achieve success without them.
Here’s the fourth step. You’ve got to set the example for your staff. It’s caught, not taught. John Maxwell says values are the soul of leadership.
That brings us to number five. You need leadership values that ground you. Values bring people together to work toward a common goal. If your personal values don’t match the values of the leader, you’ll be happier working somewhere else.
Number six is to create a leadership team that completes you. There’s no room for competition on a leadership team. Find people with skills that are different from yours and together you’ll be able to achieve great things.
Here’s one of my favorites. Everyone deserves to be part of a team that has leadership beliefs that inspire you. I find inspiration in encouraging, and encouragement is the oxygen of our souls.
We’ve made it all the way to number eight, which is having leadership opportunities that will expand you. When we’re stretched, we grow in amazing ways. You’ve got to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. That’s where life truly begins.
Number nine, we all deserve leadership tools that will equip us. Imagine being a carpenter without your tools; you couldn’t build anything. Our team members need the right tools to successfully do their jobs, too.
Finally, everyone deserves leadership mentors that provide guidance. I admit I wish I’d had mentors in my life that I could have talked to along the way, but that’s no excuse. The fact that I didn’t have a personal mentor led me to read John Maxwell’s books, which became the most powerful guide besides my faith. After two decades of reading his books, at 44, I finally met John in person and have been mentored by him for the last decade.
What action will you take today to be a better leader tomorrow? Everyone deserves to be led well.