Given the choice, smart people are always going to choose the best possible solution. Let’s be honest: you would have to be stupid beyond belief to accept average, good or even very good – if excellence was readily available. Organisations that want to develop successfully, simply must hire, retain and develop Excellent Leaders.
It is a commercial reality that anyone (or anything) that is recognised as excellent, will command higher prices, be retained for longer and be desired more passionately than all others: this principle especially applies to leaders since their influence shapes entire nations – let alone businesses or other organisations.
Just in case you were wondering what Leadership Excellence looks like, I have provided the following clues:
- Excellent Leaders understand that their standards set the benchmark for the organisations or departments that they head.
- Excellent Leaders operate at the highest levels of personal and professional excellence – at all times.
- Excellent Leaders are so categorised because of their capacity to learn new things quickly, transfer applicable knowledge to others, and to build environments where ceaseless learning is a basic way of life: not a tiresome chore.
- People who do what they do because they have to, perform less efficiently, less consistently and with lower levels of cooperation than those who do what they do because they want to.
- Excellent Leaders are highly skilled in the delicate art of individual motivation. Their ability to galvanise disparate people into strong, ambitious and focused teams, facilitates increased profitability – without increasing corporate overheads.
There is nothing better than being considered the very best!
Would it be right to describe the art of Excellent Leadership as: ‘the pinnacle of inter-personal communication allied to optimised management skills?’ Yes, that would be a fair statement. To put it very bluntly, Excellent Leaders personify governance at its very best. Leaders are afforded many benefits: time to learn on the job is rarely one of them. We live in an age where everything is moving at a rapid pace; leaders who fail to adapt quickly to ever-changing circumstances, soon become an obstacle to progress. It might be worth mentioning that removing hindrances to progress, represents one of the most passionate and instinctive reactions known to mankind.
Great leaders embody the qualities that those who follow them aspire to. Life under such a bright spotlight is not for everyone, but those best suited to the ceaseless acquisition of applicable knowledge, don’t find it difficult at all. A common mistake made by many leaders is to demand progress or change from those subject to their authority: while remaining essentially the same themselves. Leaders who think along those lines haven’t properly understood the fundamentals of ‘human economics.’
Asking people to do more, without first teaching them something new, offering them something better than they have now – or simply giving them more than they have previously received: is tantamount to asking them to demonstrate higher standards of leadership than they are being shown. Here’s the problem with that strategy: if people do actually manage to display such heightened levels of performance – without any direct input from you, their actions only serve to demonstrate that you are in fact, surplus to requirements. That’s not a good look.
So what other indicators distinguish people that are considered Excellent Leaders from others: who patently are not? Great leaders demonstrate the ability to identify, nurture, educate and to motivate other talented people is one of the most obvious hallmarks of someone who has been properly trained to be an Excellent Leader. Driven people absolutely hate wasting time: ignorance, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to accept good counsel all serve to waste both time and money on a grand scale. Excellent Leaders are extremely goal-centred individuals: who know that accomplishing agreed objectives requires much more than a propensity for telling other people what to do – any fool can do that.
For leaders to remain effective, teaching must form part of their strategy: meaning that they must be willing to listen and learn.
‘All learning comes from listening’ is a phrase that Excellent Leaders learn on their very first day of training and they immediately adopt that principle as their default setting. An idea can transform the mentality of a person in a split second. Vision and foresight are intrinsically linked. Foresight and forethought are also closely bound together, so leaders who fail to make their vision clearly known – stifle creative thinking. A shared ideal facilitates common bonds, which in-turn, inspires people to work harder, to be more enterprising, diligent and far more effective as a cohesive unit. Only someone with real vision would even contemplate wanting to be a genuinely Excellent Leaders, let alone encourage others to do the same.
People who have mastered how to maintain Excellent Leaders have another immensely powerful weapon in their armoury: ethical authority. Leaders can either ‘lean’ on their legal authority (powers that are strictly limited to your management status and governed by the rigid agreements that bind those subject to your authority) or leaders can rely on ‘ethical authority.’ Ethical authority is vastly superior because those who possess it retain the legal power that comes with their official office: but can also call upon the considerably more potent, ‘game-changing’ force that emanates from their personal standing.