If you want to become a highly effective leader, you must become highly effective in your growth.
We have talked a lot about climbing the leadership ladder, and my role in writing my articles is to help you get to the top of the ladder, if you so wish. In order for you to get to the top, you need to be able to lead for your team, and also lead yourself.
1. Doing More Than Is Required
To become a highly effective leader you need to do more than just climb to the top of the leadership ladder. Getting to the top will make you a great leader but not a highly effective leader.
Don’t get me wrong, getting to the top of the leadership ladder, and becoming a great leader is an amazing achievement for anyone. Great leaders are highly respected because they are great at building relationships, trust, and treating their people with respect. Great leaders achieve great results too.
However, when it comes to developing their people, they very rarely go the extra mile, and do more than what is actually required. To become a highly effective leader, when you get to the top of the ladder, you must then climb back down, and help your team climb to the top too.
Low performing leaders feel threatened by almost everyone in the organisation, especially their team members. So, that is why they will never develop them, because they fear that one of them will become better and take their job. An insecure leader’s objective is to ensure that everyone in their team stays exactly where they are.
The thinking is, if they don’t get better or worse, then they won’t be a threat. When in reality, if you don’t get better you will become worse, because of the amount of frustration it builds within you. If an insecure leader must fill a vacancy within their team, so they will interview a number of candidates.
Then, they will most likely choose the person they think will not threaten them the most. They want them to just fill the job and do the absolute minimal to get the job done.
I have worked with, and met many great leaders who had a strong character. They knew what they were doing, and were very secure in themselves. However, the development of their people (including me) needed to improve.
The leaders I’m referring to did not want to develop themselves further than what was required. So why would they want to develop their people further than required?
2. Focussing On The Growth Of Your People
When you are a great leader but you are not focussed on your own or your team’s growth, then everybody is missing out on opportunities. Instead of focussing on growth, a great leader will focus on goals and targets.
They don’t think they need to grow anymore, and are content to just plod on in their careers. What they don’t realise is what they are leaving on the table, and how much time they are wasting by doing that.
The world of business, and indeed the whole world needs these great leaders to turn this around, and focus on their growth. We need them to want to get to the next level.
It doesn’t matter whether they are a team leader/supervisor, manager, director, managing director, or CEO. We all need them to want to do it and not be forced to do it.
It doesn’t matter what your position or title is, it’s about your intentions after you become successful. For you to become successful, you are mainly focussing on you. However, if you want to go beyond greatness then you need to go beyond success, and not settle for it.
3. Going The Extra Mile For Your People
To go beyond success, you need to climb back down the leadership ladder and help others to climb up to the top. If you help them do that then they too will become successful. That is what true success is.
Are you willing to go beyond your own success? Are you happy with just climbing to the top of the leadership ladder and staying there?
Are you willing to help others become just as successful, if not more successful than you? I want you to make the decision of whether you are content with being a great leader, or do you want to go that extra mile and become a highly effective leader?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a great leader and being successful, in fact it is a great achievement that not many will achieve. However, I know that you are better than that, and can do more to become an amazing highly effective leader.
But, to do this you will need to put in the hard work. By that I mean working on yourself in your own personal time. It is a sacrifice that needs to be made.
4. What Sacrifices Are You Willing To Make For Your People?
When I became a Chartered Engineer, I got to lead my own teams. When we were achieving great results, I thought that was it for me. I didn’t need think I needed to develop myself anymore.
I thought I could just focus on the job at hand. But, at that time I didn’t realise the opportunities I was missing out on, and how I could improve my leadership a lot more.
I worked with some great teams. We achieved great things. I liked working with them, and they liked working with me. To me, that was all I needed to do. I and the team thought that we worked well as a unit, so I thought I was a great leader.
When we finished for the day, I wouldn’t do anything to work on myself or develop my leadership abilities. I just went home, socialised, and watched TV. Or, I would do something else, but it had nothing to do with development.
I thought that being able to do what I wanted, and not be bothered by anyone from work after hours was success. I was wrong.
To be a highly effective leader, you need to look beyond what you would think success was. A highly effective leader looks at success as the beginning of what they are truly committed to, their purpose. A great leader looks at success as the end, and that all they need to do now for the rest of their career is coast.
A great leader thinks that they just need to stay on the same path until they retire. Luckily for me, early in my leadership career, I became interested in learning more about leadership.
I started watching videos online, reading books, or taking courses. I changed my way of thinking from achieving goals/targets to achieving growth/development.
I made the decision that I didn’t want to just stay where I was, I wanted to develop myself. I wanted to be like the people who were on the videos, and writing the books. I wanted to make as bigger difference in the lives of as many people throughout the world as I could. Is that what you want?
To do this, I had to make some sacrifices. I gave up things that would be wasting my time, and that included people who were not helping me grow. Before I decided this, the people I am talking about I spent a lot of time with as friends.
But, I realised that when I decided to work on myself and become a highly effective leader, I would be talked out of it by these people. They were hindering my growth rather than helping it.
There are 24 hours in one day, so I had plenty of time to grow myself. I made sure that I used this time to the best of my ability. So, every weekday after work and every weekend. It didn’t matter what it was or how much it was, as long as I did something to develop myself every day, I was winning.
I worked on myself 365 days of the year, even on days I didn’t want to, or didn’t feel up to it. That’s how you know you are always taking a step forward and not back.
I started reading everyday (reading is not my favourite activity). I watched leadership and development videos online. I listened to podcasts, webinars, and I attended conferences. I did this to ensure I was developing in the area of leadership every day. That’s how I knew I was on the right path to becoming a highly effective leader.
My productivity, my relationship building and my leadership vastly improved. All this because I took the decision to work on myself every day. The team’s I have worked with have achieved excellent results, and they have decided to work on themselves every day too.
I hope you are willing to do the same.
Do you want to make a living? Then do a good job
Do you want to make an amazing life? Then work on yourself.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,