Being a great leader involves a different skill set than being a great manager. Being a leader is much more human, and is about connecting with people on a real level. Managers can have experience in economics, marketing, and operations without the chance to hone their leadership skills at the same time.
Business leaders must have a clear
personal vision, a strong sense of purpose, and a desire to create a better
future. This is because the key task of leadership is to bring hope to those
that follow them. At least it is according to Professor Hannah Greenwood of
Hult International Business School. She believes there are two elements of
leadership: the essence of leadership, and the key task of a leader. Professor
Greenwood believes the personal vision is the key task of a leader. This is why
it needs to be clear and strong.
According to Dr. Douglas Labier, Director
of the Center for Progressive Development in Washington, D.C., to have a clear
personal vision you must first have clear self-awareness. “The higher up you go
in companies, the more you’re dealing with psychological and relational issues.
Successful CEO leadership requires astuteness about others…And you can’t know
the truth about another without knowing it about yourself… Self-knowledge and
the relational competencies they’re linked with are central to a CEO’s ability
to formulate, articulate and lead a strategic vision.”
Trust is the essence of leadership. It’s
about creating trust between the CEO and the employees, stockholders, and
customers. In order to have trust, the CEO must become trustworthy and that
means having self-awareness.
The Champion Mindset
Professor Greenwood has created an
internal thought process associated with great leadership into “The Champion
Mindset” as a way of teaching others how to also be great leaders. She believes
mastering integrity, charisma, and passion is crucial to reaching one’s
greatest potential. She goes on to define passion, a word included on every
resume and job ad available on the planet at the moment, as what truly makes
one’s heart sing. Only once this joy is identified can there be a path to
pursue it, which is what will inspire others to follow.
Charisma is something many people believe is genetic or is something some people simply have and others do not. This doesn’t have to be the case. In Greek it means “divine gift”, and Professor Greenwood believes most people don’t push through our natural shyness to communicate our passion and integrity — which is where charisma resides.
Many people adapt certain aspects of behavior,
such as the inner good girl/boy wanting to please others. This is known as “the
adapted self” and this can work well for managers until they are asked to be
leaders. Since leaders require the authenticity of genuine human emotion, this
persona or adapted self and hinder connections that need to be made. Finding
“the authentic self”, or one’s true and highest potential.
Develop a clear vision making sure it encompasses what truly brings joy to one’s life is a sure fire way to become a great leader.