On the front page of the Australian Financial Review yesterday an article appeared ‘introducing’ us to one of the senior ministers in Rudd’s new government. Most of his cabinet has no ministerial experience – and it made me wonder what type of leaders they will make. Will they inspire the Australian people, unite us to a cause – grow our economy.?
You’ve heard the term ‘a born leader’? Whilst leadership skills can be innate, there are skills and attributes that can be learned and developed. There are many different styles of leadership: personality, purpose and aspiration all play a role in determining that style. There is no ‘perfect’ when it comes to leadership – all leaders make mistakes. But what they do have in common is a clear sense of vision, they live by values and they keep people aligned.
No matter what kind of leadership role you are placed in – or seeking – there is the opportunity for great leadership in the following:
- Example – If you want others to follow, you absolutely have to lead by example. You simply must be, live and act 100% on the values of the business – people are looking to you for guidance on how to operate based on the values… and simply if you do not practice what you preach then there will be a lost of trust with the team. My father said many times when I was a child – “Do what I say not what I do…” Dad quite frankly, what a crock…. show me how and I can replicate it.
- Patience – When it comes to the influence of leadership, something has to be said about patience. Without proper patience a leader can become exasperated and end up frustrated and uninspiring. It’s important to realize that people aren’t all learning at the same pace – and some take a longer to grasp concepts, ideas and opportunities. Patience is a virtue that can help lead others forward –consistency over and over, with a tad of empathy, whilst focussed on the outcome is the formula for success.
- Empowerment of Others – People often ask me – “but how did you hand over the business to the CEO?” and my answer, it was very very easy (too easy perhaps). Simply I have worked side by side with her for half a decade – I know who she is and what she stands for. I know she is clever, strategic and analytical…. So when something comes across my desk – I simply ask the question “Who’s job is this?” I don’t see this as delegation… it is ensuring that I don’t disenfranchise my colleague.
I am curious to see how these new ministers in Canberra go with these fundamentals.