What Makes a Great Leader?

Document Sample
What Makes a Great Leader? Powered By Docstoc
					    What Makes a Great Leader?
                        by Rieva Lesonsky

                        What makes a great leader? There are lots of theories. You need to guide
                        and motivate, inspire and encourage, all while running your business.
                        Sound exhausting? It can be, if you don’t have the “right” attitude.
                        Entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin believes (and I agree) that
                        being a manager and being a leader are two completely different animals.
                        Godin says, “Managers try to get people to do what they did yesterday but
                        a little faster, and a little cheaper with a few less defects.”

    I’ve been both a manager and a leader, and I have to admit leading comes more naturally to
    me than managing. Here are the leadership principles that work for me.

     Say no to “yes men.” Don’t surround yourself with people who always agree with you.
      What’s the point? You might as well make decisions in a vacuum. Why bother to put
      together a staff of intelligent, talented people if you’re not going to listen to them? Enjoy
      the debate, and listen to all sides and opinions.

     Get to know your team. You can’t be a good leader if you don’t know what makes your
      staff tick. You don’t have to get too personal, but by understanding the issues that may
      affect each person’s job performance, you’ll be better able to motivate and lead them.

     Teach your employees how to fly and then stand back. I like to give a person as much
      information as I can about a project, and then let them figure out how to get the job done.
      If they start moving in the wrong direction, of course you should step in, but letting
      employees figure out what works and what doesn’t is not only more fun for them, but
      teaches them valuable lessons.

     Support and encourage. Growing up, my family was very supportive, and I try to bring
      that to my personal and professional relationships. My team always knows we have each
      other’s backs--no matter what.

    Rieva Lesonsky is founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company. A
    nationally recognized small-business expert, Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio
    shows and numerous local and national television programs. Read more of her insights
    at SmallBizDaily.com.

Shared By: