Liz Wiseman - CEO of The Wiseman Group | How To Become A Leader That Breeds Greatness
Scott D. Clary | Mental Models, Performance, Business & Entrepreneurship
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How To Become A Leader That Breeds Greatness
Becoming a leader that breeds greatness is the dream of every entrepreneur. These are the leaders that build a loyal following behind them, that do work that has a positive impact on the world, and that statues are built for (half kidding).
The ability to inspire, motivate and lead a team to achieve great things is the hallmark of a true leader.
Many entrepreneurs and leaders these days opt for the easy way out. They avoid difficult decisions and conversations, and this trickles down into how their entire team operates.
In my recent conversation with the legendary Liz Wiseman, we talked about all things leadership. She defined what she means by “becoming an impact player” as well as gave incredibly valuable insights into successful management styles.
This inspired me to do a deep dive into the topic of leadership. But this isn’t an ordinary talk about how to be a good leader, this is a talk about how to become a great leader that builds other great leaders.
There is a ton of information packed into this article, so grab a pen and notepad and let’s get into it!
The History of Leadership
Leadership, in its simplest form, is the ability to inspire and guide a team to achieve a common goal. But let me tell you, leadership has evolved over the years, and if you want to be a leader that breeds greatness, you have to learn how to adapt and evolve with it.
The best way for us to do that is to see where we came from, so we can better predict where we’re headed.
Back in the day, leadership was a top-down process, it was all about being the boss and having a commanding presence. This autocratic leadership style, where the leader makes all the decisions, is a thing of the past.
This kind of leadership used to be effective when organizations were more hierarchical and the workforce was less educated and less skilled.
That's not how it works anymore.
Today, great leaders have learned that they have to be more democratic and participative. They encourage participation and collaboration among team members. They lead in a more empathetic and inclusive way, where everyone's ideas and contributions are valued.
That's how you lead in today's world.
And let me tell you, the rise of technology and globalization have changed the game too. You have to be able to lead in a way that values diversity and inclusivity. The world is more connected than ever before, and you're going to be leading a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
The Art of Building Leaders
Being a truly great leader isn't just about leading, it's about building leaders. That's the key to becoming a leader that breeds greatness.
You have to be able to inspire and motivate your team, and to do that, you have to be able to recognize and nurture their individual strengths and weaknesses.
The only way to bring out the best in your team is to make them believe in themselves and their potential. You have to be able to build a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to create an environment where people feel safe to take risks, try new things, and make mistakes.
You have to be able to recognize the potential in others, help them develop their skills, and push them to grow. On top of this, you must be able to give the right feedback, provide the right guidance and mentor them in their development.
And most importantly, in order to go from being good to great, you must give your team the opportunity to take the lead and make their own decisions.
The 4 Crucial Elements of Great Leadership
It’s important to remember that leadership is a journey, and it takes time and effort to become a great leader. But if you put in the work, you can become a leader that inspires, motivates, and brings out the best in others
So how exactly do you become a leader that breeds greatness? Well, it starts with understanding the four crucial elements of leadership
A clear vision is one of the most important elements of leadership, and it’s the one you should start with.
It serves as a guiding principle for you and your team, and it helps to align everyone's efforts toward a common goal. A vision helps to create a sense of direction, purpose, and motivation for your team, and it gives them something to strive for.
As a great leader, you should be able to articulate a compelling vision that inspires and motivates your team. You should be able to paint a picture of the future that your team can envision and believe in. This helps to create a sense of excitement and energy among the team members, which in turn drives them to work harder and achieve more.
A vision also helps you to stay focused on your goals, as well as helps to measure your progress. It serves as a roadmap for you and your team and helps you stay on track and make adjustments as necessary.
It’s important to note that a vision is not just a one-time statement, it's an ongoing process. A great leader regularly reviews and updates their vision in order to ensure that it stays relevant and aligned with the changing environment.
You should involve your team members in the process of creating and updating the vision, which will help to create a sense of ownership and accountability among the team.
A leader who can communicate effectively is able to connect with their team, understand their ideas, and provide guidance and feedback. It is the key to building trust and respect among team members and is essential for aligning the team's efforts toward a common goal.
As a great leader, you must be able to communicate clearly, directly, and honestly.
You must learn to express yourself in a way that is easily understood by your team and you must be able to convey your ideas and thoughts effectively, both verbally and in writing. This helps to build a sense of understanding and cohesion among your team, and makes it easier for them to follow your direction.
Effective communication also helps a leader to resolve conflicts and overcome obstacles. A great leader is able to listen actively and empathetically, and understand different perspectives.
You must be able to find common ground and bring people together, which helps to build a stronger, more cohesive team.
In addition, you must learn to communicate with different types of people, adapting your communication style to suit both the situation and the person you are communicating with. It’s important to understand that different people have different communication preferences, so you should be able to adjust your style to make sure your message is received and understood.
Inspiration is another vital element of leadership. A leader who can inspire and motivate their team is able to create a positive and productive environment that drives the team to achieve the set goals.
As a great leader, you must be able to tap into the unique strengths and passions of your team members and use that to motivate them.
You must understand that people are motivated differently, and be able to tailor your approach to suit each individual. You must be able to create an atmosphere of positivity and enthusiasm that makes people want to come to work and do their best. Some employees will appreciate a ‘tough love’ approach, while others may need a more nurturing approach, it’s up to you to adapt.
In addition, you need to be able to inspire your team through your own actions and attitude.
You must take on the philosophy of leading by example and set the standard for your team. You need to demonstrate the positive attitude and strong work ethic that you want your team to emulate.
A leader who can inspire and motivate their team is also able to create a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. They can connect their team's work to something bigger and more meaningful, which helps to create a sense of motivation and engagement among team members.
You must be able to create an environment where your team members feel valued and respected and be willing to do whatever it takes to help your team succeed. Your team will feel this loyalty and appreciate it, and they will return the favor.
Empowerment is the final crucial element of leadership. A leader who can empower their team is able to give them the freedom and autonomy to make their own decisions and take the lead. This not only improves the performance of the team but also helps to develop the team members' own leadership capabilities.
As a great leader, you must be able to trust your team members and give them the opportunity to be creative and take risks. It’s important to understand that your team members have unique skills and abilities, and you must be able to tap into those strengths to achieve your team's goals.
By giving your team the freedom and autonomy to make their own decisions, you are able to create a sense of ownership and accountability among your team members.
Empowerment also helps to create a more inclusive and diverse environment. By giving your team members the opportunity to take the lead and make their own decisions, you are showing that you value and respect the different perspectives and ideas that each team member brings to the table. This helps to create a more innovative and dynamic team.
If you can empower your team, you are also developing your team members' own leadership capabilities. By giving them the opportunity to take the lead and make their own decisions, you are providing them with the experience and skills they need to develop into leaders themselves.
As you can see, leadership is a complex and multifaceted skill that requires you to be thoughtful, intentional, and strong.
A leader who can master staying in the moment, planning ahead, and the four crucial elements of leadership will be well on their way to becoming a leader that breeds greatness.
Remember that a clear vision helps to align your team's efforts, effective communication builds trust and respect, inspiration creates motivation and engagement, and empowerment gives your team ownership and accountability.
These are the foundation of great leadership and if you want to be a leader that breeds greatness, you have to master these four elements.
And remember, true leadership is not just about being in charge, it's about taking care of those in your charge. So, stay focused, work hard and lead by example, and you'll be able to inspire your team to greatness.
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. If you want to go more in-depth on this, check out my full conversation with Liz.
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