A little advice (and some aphorisms) for those wanting to be company leaders.
1. As the ancient Romans said, verba volant, exempla manent. Leaders may explain what you should or should not do once but it is by example that they show the way. Leadership by example works, more than 1000 slides…
Those who want to be leaders but aren’t say things. Good leaders explain things. The best leaders show how to do them. (Anonymous)
2. If his team is mature enough and his goals are clear, a true leader leaves his employees free to decide how to reach the objectives assigned them.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. (General George Patton)
3. Great leaders delegate. Otherwise the only people they’re leading are themselves.
Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away. (James B. Stockdale)
4. Courage. Sheryl Sanberg has said that when faced with difficult decisions she often asks herself: “What would you do if you weren’t scared?” And then she decides. She is now Facebook Operations Manager and many people have forecast a career in politics for her.
There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage.
5. Admit your own mistakes. Mistakes happen. Leaders admit them, to themselves and, if necessary, to their employees.
A leader must know how to manage failure.
(APJ Abdul Kalam)
6. Getting people involved is better than controlling them. Leaders know how to channel everyone’s energies into a project. If this is done control is useless because everyone will give of their best.
Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation..
(William Arthur Ward)
7. Transparency: in both praise and, above all, in criticism, when negative feedback is needed.
The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. Saying yes is very easy.
8. Vision. Leaders must be capable of offering those working for them a wider vision of the goal to achieve or a plan to put into practice.
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
9. The ability to embrace change: many managers want to believe that change stops at the door of their offices. Leaders embrace change even if they are frightened of it and encourage those working for them to do the same.
Leadership is action, not position.
(Donald H. McGannon)
10. Know yourself. Any leader worthy of the name knows his or her own strengths and weaknesses even better than those of his or her employees.
How can I hope to lead others if I can’t even control myself?