Leadership: the direction is up to YOU!



5 building blocks (part 1)

You will undoubtedly have heard that one of the things a great leader does is to give the whole organisation, and especially the people within it, ‘direction’.

It’s true! A great leader really does do that.

But it’s a highly complex skill that is built up of many key elements – ‘building blocks’, if you will – that all work together to deliver this ‘direction’.

So, here I’ve selected five of those key elements – how well, and how often do you practice each of them?

Focus on where you’re going

This is often an area where leaders, especially relatively inexperienced leaders, can slip up.

Without clearly knowing where you’re going, you cannot expect to know when you get there!

Work on setting a clear goal (or multiple goals), that everyone can clearly identify, with measurable achievements along the way, and, of course, making sure all involved in reaching the goal(s) can easily understand how they will recognise when they get there.

No matter what changes, hurdles, or challenges you experience along the way, keep focused on where you’re going – if you lose sight of it, you’ll drift. A leader who’s drifting won’t be a leader for much longer!


Motto: do or delegate!

Yes, it really is as simple as it sounds – everytime something is in front of you, or arrives on your desk, take one simple action first: do (take action yourself), or delegate it to someone else!

Most leaders I meet want to hold on to everything themselves. Consequently, they’re usually snowed-under with things they really don’t need to be concerned with and could be done perfectly well by someone else.

So, start the new habit today (and it really is just a case of changing your habits) – just do, or delegate!


Engage everyone

As a leader, you need to be able to ‘take’ people ‘with’ you – you cannot do it on your own!

This does not mean directing or telling those around you they should do this or that (but remember, there is a time and place for such things too). It means engaging everyone you meet, especially everyone you need to be part of the success ‘story’ – don’t just chat to them, get to know them, and especially let them get to know you too.

If you behave like a robot, you’ll get treated (and respected) like one!


YOU are the final decision-maker

Leaders have to make decisions. Fact.

Great leaders know that when the ‘chips are down’, the final decision is theirs and theirs alone.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it – so develop your decision-making skills, constantly reviewing their success in every respect, and never, ever stop trying to make better decisions.


Always take full responsibility

It goes with the job, I’m afraid (for better and worse)!

Ultimately, as a leader, you are in that position because you are expected to take responsibility for yourself and your team.

So, step up and make sure you do it!


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