What makes a great leader? It’s an often asked question in the crusade for the perfect template for others to emulate. This morning I was invited to sit on a roundtable debating leadership by Insider magazine. I won’t go in to the detail of the points raised, as you can read that in their article, however I have one takeaway to share.
Ten leaders of different businesses were represented, from large corporates to entrepreneur owned and what was striking was the variety of styles, all of which were successful. When trying to pin down the perfect blueprint, there wasn’t really one. There are common traits that are needed, including charisma, vision, authenticity, achievement orientation and inspiration, however beyond that, differing styles definitely prevailed. I call this the Lexicon of Leadership.
For me, you have to develop your own leadership style, taking into account your environment, your size, your culture and your own ding. It’s a journey without an end. Learning agility being cited as one of the key attributes of modern day leaders. I’ve previously described this a your leadership API (API is a technology term used to describe an interface made available to developers), that is, if you open up yourself for development and continually allow others to develop you by reading, going to conferences, listening to your peer group etc you will quickly realise that there is still so much to learn.
I learned a lot from listening to the differing styles round the table today. Big or small, we all face common challenges which is how to get humans to perform to their highest level. There are base characteristics that you’ll need, however beyond that, you can build your lexicon of skills as time passes to continue to evolve your style.