This week I dedicate this installment to the essential qualities of a great leader as they are articulated by Brian Tracy. As we go through the qualities, I urge you to examine yourself as leader and identify your areas of weakness with a view to developing yourself into a great leader who is ready to take his/her organisation to another level.
HR Talk with Paul Nyausaru
Vision: Great leaders have vision. They can see into the future. They have a clear, exciting idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish and are excellent at strategic planning. What this entails is that a leader has to be a dreamer who takes his organisation into the future and is able to generate strategies to take his organisation there. It is also critical to be ableto make your team share that vision and contribute meaningfully in its achievement.
This is one quality that separates a leader from manager. While a manager gets the job done, great leaders tap into the emotions of their employees.
Courage: According to Winston Churchill “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” A great leader is one who is willing to take risks in the achievement of goals with no assurance of success. Because there is no certainty in life or business, every commitment you make and every action you take as a leader entails a risk of some kind. Among the qualities deemed to be crucial for a great leader, courage is the most identifiable outward trait. How courageous are you then as a leader?
Integrity: in most strategic planning sessions, it has been observed that integrity comes out as the number one value that organisations come up with. Most, if not all, leaders agree on the importance of complete honesty in everything they do, both internally and externally.
The core of integrity is truthfulness and it requires that you always tell the truth, to all people, in every situation. Truthfulness has been identified as the foundation quality of the trust that is necessary for the success of any business. It is sad though to realise that despite integrity being a core value that most organisations have on their list of core values, the opposite is happening on the ground.
Humility: Great leaders are those who are strong and decisive, but also humble. Humility doesn’t mean that you’re weak or unsure of yourself. It means that you have the self-confidence and self awareness to recognise the value of others without feeling threatened. It means that you are willing to admit you could be wrong, that you recognise you may not have all the answers. And it means that you give credit where credit is due.
Strategic Planning: Great leaders are outstanding at strategic planning. They have the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy where the industry and the markets are going.
Leaders have the ability to anticipate trends, well in advance of their competitors. They continually ask, “Based on what is happening today, where is the market going? Where is it likely to be in three months, six months, one year, and two years?” through thoughtful strategic planning.
Focus: Leaders always focus on the needs of the company and the situation. Leaders focus on results, on what must be achieved by themselves, by others, and by the company. They focus on strengths, in themselves and in others. They focus on the strengths of the organisation, on the things that the company does best in satisfying demanding customers in a competitive marketplace.
Your ability as a leader to call the shots and make sure that everyone is focused and concentrated on the most valuable use of their time is essential to the excellent performance of the enterprise.
Co-operation: Your ability to get everyone working and pulling together is essential to your success. Leadership, simply defined, is the ability to get people to work for you because they want to.
At the end of it all how do you rate yourself as a leader? Critically evaluate yourself with the view of making improvement in areas that you are not excelling. Zimbabwe needs great leaders in all sectors of the economy so that it moves forward and it is critical for you to play your part.
Paul Nyausaru is Training & Development Practitioner. You can contact him on email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com . Views contained in this article are personal