New What does it take these days to be a great leader? Here's my answer.

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Adam Toren

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It's easy to lose focus on what it takes to be a great leader when your attention is drawn to the day-to-day operations of your business. In order to keep a constant pulse on the leadership you give to your team, what's one question you regularly ask yourself? I'd love to hear your answers.

Here's mine:

I think this comes down to intention. I try to ensure everything I do aligns with my intentions: interactions, communication, conversations, projects, and so on. So the question I would ask myself may be something like “Are you being clear and intentional with this fill-in-the-blank?”

The thing about intention is that people are naturally looking for, and seeking, the meaning behind anything you do or say. They are reading between the lines. My thought is, why put anything between the lines in the first place? This seems like a quick way to build barriers and a lack of trust. You have to remember that we are all observers. So being very apparent upfront about your intentions cuts through the noise quickly. It saves time and prevents miscommunication and assumptions down the road. It doesn’t mean you always have to be short or gruff in you interactions but it does mean taking note of the energy behind the way you show up for everything in life, both professionally and personally.

What are some of the techniques and strategies that you use to always improve your leadership skills?
 
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You have to remember that we are all observers. So being very apparent upfront about your intentions cuts through the noise quickly. It saves time and prevents miscommunication and assumptions down the road.
This one is a good guide as to how leaders (and everyone else) should interact in a professional setting. People are looking at you to learn, to nitpick, to admire, etc. so your every move will be scrutinized. I agree that leaders should be very upfront about their intentions because it also shows how firm they are when it comes to decision-making.
 

SARubin

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Good insight, Adam (although coming from you, I would expect nothing less :thumbsup )

As far as your question... What does it take "these days" to be a great leader?

My answer is more of a timeless philosophy, that's guided me for most of my adult life

One thing that guides me is something I learned when I was a squad leader in the Army...

The mission comes first... My troops come second... And I come third.

The leaders I respected the most, were the ones who gave the credit for success to the excellent team they had. But took the responsibility for failure upon themselves.

Their integrity was awe inspiring to me. And it was no surprise that they always seemed to garner the most "genuine" respect from their troops.


One of the other main things that guides me, in business, is being consistent with my core values.

Of course, it's OK to change our minds when new information is made available. But if we don't have congruencey with our "core" values, then our team can never be sure if we're going to make irrational decisions, from one situation to the next.

And if people can't trust our ability to make sound decisions, it causes frustration and a lack of commitment from our team members. (Because who wants to follow a "flaky" leader that can't be trusted from one day to the next?)

But if we never stray from our "core" values, and we openly share those values with the team, then we can usually count on them to make good decisions that are inline with the core mission of the company. (even when we're not there to see it)

And anyone who can't understand those values, or doesn't share the same values, would probably be happier working someplace else.

Anyway, those are a couple of my thoughts on the topic.

All the best,
SAR
 
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