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What does it mean to be a Leader?

When we take a leadership role we take responsibility for getting the best out of our team, for helping them achieve their goals and taking their performance to the next level.

Leadership is about the team; it’s not about the leader. For sure the leader benefits from leading the team to success, but the success belongs to the team, and it’s the leaders job to facilitate that.

Too often leaders feel that it is their role to achieve the success, that’s its about them, about what they can achieve. But leaders need to be multipliers, the more of our team we can get performing at an optimum level the higher the output and the results will be.

This also creates sustainable achievement that will live on after the leader has left. If it’s just about the leader then any success dies away when the leader leaves, but as leaders we should be looking to leave a legacy that continues even after we have moved on to pastures new.

Leadership is also about developing the next generation of leaders. First we need to create some success, but then we need to develop the new leaders that will carry on delivering that success long into the future.

Many of the leaders that I have worked with have fallen down in this area, often because they didn’t want to create any competition for themselves or because they didn’t feel that the team had any leadership capability.

But neither of these statement s really holds any water.

As leaders when we create new leaders to support us, it actually frees us to move onto bigger and better things and creating new leaders is one the greatest skills a leader can possess and anyone who shows this will be in great demand. So rather than creating competition we are actually creating allies that can help us achieve more and also further our careers.

Everyone has leadership capabilities, maybe not enough to be the next Mandela or Gandhi, but we can all be better leaders. So believing that our teams lack the ability to be leaders is misplaced. Leadership is about supporting people, helping them be the best that they can be, and to some extent we can all do that. The more we improve the leadership without teams the more capable our teams will be of leading themselves, which also frees us up to take on more strategic aspects of leadership.

The more leading we do, the less management we have to do, which actually makes our lives and the lives of our teams easier. Peter Drucker says that Management is about doing things right, whereas leadership is about doing the right things. It’s when we are doing the wrong things because of weak leadership that we really have to step in and manage more, this is because we are trying to back square pegs through round holes.

With better leadership we make sure we have round pegs for round holes which
makes ours and everyone else’s job easier.

So leadership is about making sure our teams are focused on the right job and then supporting them to ensure that they have the tools and skills needed to be successful.

If you take a leadership role because you think it’s about you, then I suggest you think again!

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About Gordon Tredgold

Born in Leeds, England Gordon Tredgold is an internationally recognized speaker, author, leadership coach and transformational specialist with more than 20 years of experience. Innovative, hands-on and thought-provoking, he is called upon by many professionals for his clean and simple approach to improving business operations and inspiring effective leadership. Gordon is a Fellow of the…