Saturday, April 28, 2018

6 Actions to Convert Followers into Leaders

Leaders are everywhere and so is their impact. Some make tremendous gains for those they lead while others see their role as maintaining the status quo.  And of course there are always some who appear born to do nothing but destroy their organization minute by minute.  Yes, leaders are everywhere, but what does it take to stand out as an excellent leader?

Bass defined the highest level of leadership as transformational leadership which is the leader's ability to convert followers into leaders and perhaps moral agents. Well that’s a pretty lofty goal for all leaders to aspire for, but what do great leaders do to get everyone to become a leader, let alone moral agent?

They get everyone following first with these 6 critical leadership skills. 

6 Attributes of an Excellent Leader
In order to get everyone following, ( aka - the first step of leadership), great leaders exhibit these 6 traits. 
Listening - Leaders learn the most when they listen more than they speak.
Empathic - Leaders can't become excellent unless they walk in their followers' steps.
Approachable - Excellent leaders create an environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to approach the leader with any concern, suggestion or even complaint.
Disciplined - Great leaders don't do everything.  They are disciplined, and they do the most essential things.
Energizing - Excellent leaders are like phone chargers to their followers, and they find unique ways to revitalize those they lead.
Reflective  - Leaders can't find excellence without looking in the mirror frequently.

Excellent leaders basically inspire everyone to run a marathon of organizational improvement.  Improvement can't be mandated, dictated or even scripted.  It requires everyone to play a critical role.  If we want everyone to run, we have to create the conditions to inspire everyone to start by crawling first, then learning to walk (i.e. lead), then learning how to run, and finally learning how to improve their running form, endurance, and speed. 

Running is hard work, and not everyone wants to do it.  The same can be said of leading.  Not everyone thinks they are a leader, but excellent leaders know that their mission is not improvement.  It's to create a system where everyone is working interdependently to achieve a common goal, and that system isn't comprised of just one leader, but of everyone leading in their area of expertise to make the entire organization and the people within it better.

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