Leading Blog






10.28.09

What is the Real Work of Leading?

Leadership
I would hope by now you have had a chance to read through Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber’s Rules of Thumb. He has compiled 52 practical and wise fundamentals of life well lived and work well done.

For a taste, consider Rule #41: If you want to be a real leader, first get real about leadership. Getting real about leadership involves four things: how leaders are, what leaders do, how leaders act, and what leaders leave behind them.

How Leaders Are. Leaders are both confident and modest, they’re authentic and they are good listeners. He quotes Ron Heifetz, “Too many leaders die with their mouths open.” He adds, “Leaders who need to talk all the time create companies where people simply stop listening.”

What Leaders Do. Leaders are coaches. They attract and grow talent. They lead by example. Maintaining high standards themselves, they challenge people to do their best work. “After a real leader has moved on, the people who worked for him or her always say, ‘I learned more and did more than I ever thought I could.’”

How Leaders Act. Real leaders guide. They don’t dictate. “Real leaders create an agenda, offer criteria, and describe a strategy to take the company ahead.” And they learn from their mistakes.

What Leaders Leave Behind. Leaders leave behind “a passion for the business, a love of the company, and the commitment to leave it healthier and stronger than he or she found it.” They leave a team of great leaders. They articulate sound values and instill them into the culture of the business. And perhaps most importantly, they make more leaders. “The real leader is the one who makes more leaders at all levels of the organization. Leaders practice leadership to cultivate more leaders.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:59 PM
| Comments (0) | Leadership



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