There are things that separate a true leader from a mediocre one or the one who claims who be a true leader but is nothing more than just a lip service. To those who claim to be true leaders in every sense of the word: do you even know how true leaders spend their time? Here’s the how. Here are the things that true leaders do that you’re might not be aware of.
True leaders lead
Leadership is about responsibility, not necessarily about power. But, only true leaders know how to empower their people. If a leader has to say, “just follow because I’m your leader,” then he or she is not a true leader. Empowerment means showing the people the way – the way to do things, the way to deal with complaints, the way to combat stress, the way to handle conflicts, etc.
True leaders strategize
Any unit or group needs a framework, a strategy. Only true leaders can push the people in the right direction. They bring not only focus but also the discipline to move onward the determined goals. However, the strategies we are talking about here are not only about the tangibles or the outcomes. They are also applicable to the people. There’s a humane side of every implemented strategy that only true leaders understand.
True leaders communicate
Building on the above, how the group or team members act greatly depend on the conduct of the leader. No team, group or unit can move forward without taking how the staff feels and thinks about the implementation of a particular strategy, for instance. In pulling the group along, the leader needs to communicate with the followers. Most importantly, the leader needs to explain the vision using specifics, not buzzwords.
True leaders establish
Clear expectations, that is. While it is an essential component of leadership, establishing expectations is an often overlooked component. People naturally crave for understanding. They need to know what are expected of them. Otherwise, they won’t make sense of the direction or the goal that you are trying to pursue and achieve. Only true leaders recognize such a need; hence, he or she provides guidance to whoever needs it.
True leaders encourage
True leaders ask, and they ask the right questions. Only the amateurish leaders dictate the policies. Instead, true leaders ask the followers how and “why do we need to do it this way and not the other way around.” Other than seeking answers, the leader also encourages his or her people to ask questions, too. True leaders invite open criticism. They ask open-ended questions to provoke insights and actions with the goal of improving current practice and inspiring innovation.
True leaders instill
A leader engages the followers not because he or she is dependent on them, but because they deserve it. Engagement is an essential part of the process. Any leader wants an inspired, committed and motivated follower. That’s why true leaders need to instill a sense of confidence, independence, and assertiveness in them, all of which forms part of empowerment. Only when they feel empowered that your followers will commit.
True leaders support
Followers need to be effective and efficient at all times. However, everyday problems can take a toll on how your people do their respective jobs. The greatest gift of true leaders is making themselves available whenever the followers need him or her. Average leaders tend to distance himself or herself from the others in light of an inevitable problem. No true leader does that. Instead, a true leader becomes the catalyst of solutions.
True leaders anticipate
Part of the leadership job is anticipating potential problems and creating contingencies. Through this, the entire team or group is prepared to handle the impending setbacks. True leaders are proactive, and they take pride in it. They don’t fear the unknown; instead, they face it with courage. True leaders also persuade their followers to the same – overcome their own fears, weaknesses, and limitations.
True leaders inspire
Inspiration is essential; it drives us to be the best that we can be. True leaders draw inspiration from their own lives as well as on the things around him or her. However, their inspiration is also the key to inspiring others, specifically their followers. How can you inspire others if you aren’t inspired yourself?
True leaders decide
A leader’s life revolves around decisions; it comes with the territory. Nevertheless, only true leaders make smart, informed decisions or those decisions that are based on hard and proven facts. They don’t do ‘guesstimates.’ True leaders are aware that every decision they make is equally critical. And they don’t let their followers make decisions so they can take the blame when the going gets tough. True leaders don’t engage in a blame game. They admit their mistakes and correct them since they are fully aware that they are accountable for their own actions and decisions.
True leaders prioritize
While leaders juggle various tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis, they know how to prioritize. True leaders choose their battles, knowing which of the tasks on hand are the most important and require immediate attention. Although some leaders would emphasize multi-tasking, true leaders value mono-tasking that gets the job done faster and at the expected quality. Indeed, they value quality over quantity and completion over perfection.
True leaders build
They build a community of followers. True leaders earn the trust and respect of the people around him or her even that of his or her rivals. True leaders don’t follow the competition. In fact, they are the competition. They are the standards. They set the bar so high that it is very difficult for others to follow suit. Nevertheless, they keep their feet on the ground. They don’t brag. They are humble, noble and sincere.
You think you know what true leaders do, but you have no idea. But, after reading this, perhaps, you’d get a good grasp what makes a true leader in every sense of the word. Now, you can easily pinpoint a true leader from that one person who is painfully yet regretfully claiming to be one but leave the scent of mediocrity when he or she passes by.