Close your eyes and think back to an executive you worked with (or for) that was truly inspiring. Someone so incredibly motivating that everyone around him/her seemed to work better, faster and more efficiently. What did this person possess that motivated everyone around them?
When you meet someone like this (and they are few and far between), it feels like they were born for that job. But as explained in my previous article (Answering the most important leadership questions (Link)), these leaders are made and are not born with these skills.
Effective leadership can be summed up in a few simple concepts:
- an effective leader knows what has to happen (strategy)
- an effective leader knows how it has to happen (operational excellence)
- an effective leader knows who has to make it happen (people management)
- an effective leader can let it happen by removing red tape and providing executive sponsorship (accountability, enablement, responsibility)
If you want to become one of those much needed leaders, you need to honestly assess your current skills gap and build a roadmap to acquire the missing knowledge. When was the last time you really took time to improve yourself?
Perform (or ask a superior to perform) a true and honest 360 evaluation for you. This evaluation should include feedback from colleagues, employees, bosses, clients and anyone else you work with. This is a great way to determine if you have any misconceptions about your skills. These evaluations also help you identify your real weaknesses (things you may not even know or realize yourself).