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  • If You Lead, Will They Follow? Pt. 2

    There’s a point when leadership is less about noise, but whether you can execute exactly the way we want it to happen – within the agreed upon guidelines, timelines and budgets.

    Read Part 1

    I have been leaning on the insights of those, who write for Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, as well as our members on the issue of “leadership,” and the qualities that make a world-class leader. This is the second installment of our offering on the subject of leadership.

    1. Competence – Are you a performer or a lecturer? There comes a point where leadership is less about noise, and about whether you can make something happen exactly the way you wanted it to happen – and can you do this within the agreed upon guidelines, timelines and budgets. There’s nothing more respected than someone, who gets things done. Competence is also about the ability to stay teachable – to be an even better listener to what people are not saying, than what they are – it’s understanding the encompassing nature of the organization, and how each bucket contributes to the whole.
    2. Courage – Can this person move beyond their own fears: can they see past the risks or do they get consumed by what’s going to go wrong. A major part of leadership is planning, strategy and tactic – can you make the reward accrued through execution and achievement – more important than the obstacles that you will face. Can you get a large group of people to see through the perfunctory impediments and focus on the goal, even though this might be foreign terrain for the organization?
    3. Discernment – Can you distinguish in real-time – on the fly. The more visible you become – want to become – the more you will have slick salesman proposing the next greatest thing: many will come from your own ranks, but can you tell the difference between something viable and something valueless. Will you trust your judgment, while leaning on the evidence – or will you make decisions based on loyalty and emotion?
    4. Focus – This might be one of the top five features of a quality leader: can he or she focus on both the short and long-term objectives? It gets quite busy as one starts to move-up in title, and with that comes requests and crisis from everywhere – non-stop. Can you compartmentalize, make quick and strong immediate decisions – decide on the next year’s product line and make the board meeting – if so, and done mistake free, you might have the characteristics to be a top notch leader.

    Many lay people focus primarily on the compensation, but leaders are responsible for the overall health and viability of the company – for it’s assets and human capital – for its growth, and not known or talked about too often – are the tradeoffs of time and family that are compromised for many leaders. It’s not as easy as it looks.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Management


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