If you want to be a good leader, you have to accept and even ask for input from others. This is true even if what others have to say isn’t what you want to hear. However, if you don’t allow others to express their opinions freely, they won’t want to share ideas or opinions that are helpful to the organization. This may be true even if those thoughts or opinions are in line with your own beliefs.
While an organization won’t use or think highly of every idea that a subordinate comes up with, you don’t know how good they are until you hear them. Furthermore, that person may be more interested in being heard as opposed to having his or her policies or agendas implemented at all times. Therefore, simply listening to people can be good for morale even if nothing comes of those suggestions.
Those who are secure about themselves and what they do don’t mind being challenged by others who may be just as smart or successful as they are. In fact, they look forward to what they can learn from others as it will make them better over the long-term. While it may be tempting to surround yourself with people who will agree with everything that you have to say, it can stunt your growth as well as the growth of the organization or movement that you are trying to lead.
Leadership is about putting other people in situations where they can succeed. Therefore, leaders may be doing their jobs by letting other people call the shots from time to time. For instance, if you are involved with a project that involves the use of advanced technology that you aren’t familiar with, it may be prudent to let the person who graduated from MIT take the lead.
Delegating responsibility in this area of the project increases the odds that it will be a success while letting individuals succeed in their own right. Going forward, you will have the respect of this person as well as the respect of others in your field who know that you are willing to put the team above your own goals or agenda.
Technology never stops evolving. The same is true as it relates to best practices for running a business or otherwise leading people. If you don’t keep learning and growing, you may go from being perceived as an innovator to someone who is now behind the times. Therefore, you should participate in lectures, attend classes or become involved with training and development solutions for yourself and those who you lead. When you take an active role in your own education, you learn new tactics that can be used to keep yourself ahead of the curve and maintain your position as a visionary.
A leader sees the bigger picture or the endgame of any scenario that he or she is involved in. This may make it easier to make unpopular decisions or take actions that allow that goal to be achieved even if it doesn’t make sense at the moment. While having the charisma to get others to believe in you is one part of reaching your preferred outcome, you have to understand what that outcome is first to help guide your decision making.
Leadership is critical to the success of any organization. If you are willing to learn, are not afraid of surrounding yourself with smart people and are constantly evolving as a person, you may have the attributes of a leader. This could put you in line for a fulfilling and successful career as long as you use your talents to benefit everyone you associate with.
Brigg Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He’s a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.