Are great leaders in business born, do they learn their craft along the way, or do they just get a great education?
The answer is of course is both. There are certainly many more people who are smarter than I who have very strong opinions on what make a great leader, or what makes a leader great. And there are many definitions of what makes a great leader; But as I have had the great privilege of working with 100’s of great employees over the years, I certainly have an opinion and a statement of what I truly believe leadership is, so here it is;
“Leadership is the ability to inspire others to be all that they can be
and get them to achieve all that you want achieved”. ™
I truly believe that as entrepreneurs, owners, or managers or employees of companies, no matter how big or small, you have to be able to inspire your people or workmates to reach heights of quality and performance that they may not have done without your support and encouragement. This is especially important in the service industry, whether you are the leader of your department or the leader of the company; you need to be aware of what great leadership is all about!
One thing that I can promise you is this;
Great companies are led not managed.
Over my many years of founding and growing businesses for myself and clients I have been very fortunate to have met and worked with some amazing people who have led major corporations and start-up companies around the world. In some way their actions and skills have all affected me, some positive and some negative. Some have affected the way I go to business and certainly in the leadership traits that they have demonstrated have impacted the way that I choose to lead my companies.
During the years I noted some of these leadership traits and eventually after attempting, and failing at retirement, I decided to do some additional research for my speaking sessions and this resulted in a speech based on the findings. The really cool thing is that I found that there were a whole host of different traits that were shown by these outstanding leaders. But amazingly, there is a great deal of consistency with some of these traits. In fact there were leadership traits that all of the leaders shared. I thought to myself, “there must be something to this”. So armed with this information and a couple of additional traits that I think are incredibly important and deserve to be on the list, I have created is a speaking session I call my “10 Traits of really successful leaders”.
This is the first trait:
Here’s an interesting question;
Are you lucky?
The place was London, England and at that time the Germans were bombing London every night, they called this period in history “The Blitz”.
In those days the planes were not quite so accurate about deploying and delivering their bombs on their targets, they did not have the technical and computer capabilities that we have today. So as you can imagine occasionally there were some stray bombs flying around and dropping where they were not supposed to. One particular day one of them dropped way short of its target and fell in a suburban area completely decimating a house and causing major damage to other houses close by.
In one of these houses, a Mother was in her kitchen feeding her baby, who was sitting in a high chair when the bomb struck. Of course the mother’s first reaction after the blast was to check on the baby and what she saw absolutely stunned her. The glass had been blown out of the windows. Large pieces of broken glass had flown everywhere, and some had been embedded in the kitchen walls. At first glance she thought a large piece of glasslike had decapitated the child, can you imagine how she felt? But when she looked really closely she saw that although the child had been pinned by a large piece of glass, there was a small, half moon shaped area where some glass had broken away, and that this was the area had surrounded the child’s neck. There was not even a scratch on the child. That child was incredibly lucky, I know because that child was me!
I know that I was born lucky, and this feeling of being incredibly lucky has enabled me to get through some very difficult times. From nearly capsizing and dying on the open ocean while taking my boat from St.Thomas to my home in the Turks & Caicos to learning the lesson that “Cash Flow is King” when I nearly ran out of money in my second business. You see I truly know in my inner soul that somehow someway I will get through any of theses difficult problems and issues. You see I know that I am lucky!
I do realize that not everybody had such a dramatic start to their lives but I think I can prove that most of you who are reading this article are lucky. I am guessing that the majority of you we’re born right here in America. Well there are nearly 200 countries in the world, which means you only had a one in two hundred chance of being born American! So you won the lottery the day you were born, how lucky does that make you? By the way, those of you who were born somewhere else and now have the opportunity to live and work in America, trying to achieve the American Dream, how lucky is you too?
So you see we are all incredibly lucky and we should just realize it, certainly the great leaders do and that’s what gives them the confidence to make the tough decisions and act like the leaders they are!
If you would lke to read my other 9 Leadership Traits just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the list and I will get them right out to you.