I agree with Peter Drucker that this one is overrated when running a company. Skill in management is much more important. Nevertheless, leadership can be a useful skill, and it’s much simpler than you’d believe by reading or listening to the folks who make a living teaching courses in it.
Leadership is the ability to get folks to follow you to a place they wouldn’t go on their own. That’s it. It happens to people with all manner of personalities – from the charismatic to those as boring as wallpaper paste. There is evidence to suggest that less charismatic leaders actually produce better results for their companies over the long term.
Leadership skill involves two things: Vision and Communication.
Vision means you can see where you want the company to be. Someplace different from where it is right now. If you can’t see something different, stop now. You’ve arrived and don’t need to lead anyone anywhere. If you can see something different, describe it.
Communication means telling people where you see the company headed. Tell them how they play a part in taking it there. In the simplest and most concrete terms you can find. This won’t happen automatically. They won’t just “get it” and the right words that are simple and concrete won’t just “come to you.” Spend some time (perhaps with a language coach like Isabel Parlett) describing your vision properly. Then tell your vision to everyone you work with over and over and over and over again. And again. When you start to get bored hearing it tell them again.
[tags]Leadership, Small Business, Entrepreneur, Management, How to be CEO,CEO Skills[/tags]