Work Matters! Are you a good leader?

14 Oct 2020

This week, I was quite excited to have a "physical" training programme. I have had few programmes over the last couple of months, but a substantive part of my training and coaching has been online, since the onset of this dastardly pandemic.

I was invited to train a group of middle level managers from an organisation called Infinitium. It is a company that offers technical and business expertise to develop highly sophisticated, and dependable e-payment solutions.

It was excellent working with a homegrown company that has made massive inroads across Southeast Asia. But most impressive was that it's founder and chief executive began the company in 1997 when he was only in his twenties.

Today, they have offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines with over 140 staff.

To reach this level of growth over the past 20 years, of course the solutions this company offers must be sought after. But aside from this, which is a given, it would have required tremendous effort by the founder and the management team to pull together a formidable team that can yield such admirable results.

The question really is; what makes a good leader who can put something like this together?

Being able to lead a group of people, building a foundational structure to sustain growth, working with diverse groups of people, connecting everyone and everything in a shared direction, requires skills.

In many ways, through dedication, insightful decision-making, being open to possibilities, and sometimes through decades of effort, leaders just provide jobs for employees to sustain their families.

A good leader nurtures people around them, and becomes a shining example to emulate.

Often, in an organisation that is helmed by an inspirational and engaging leader, you will find a cadre of capable people around them. And, many of them would have been groomed internally, rather than being parachuted in to do jobs.

What do good leaders focus on?

I have noticed that strong and accomplished leaders focus on definable things. They are pretty single-minded with emphasis and it can be awe inspiring.

If you want to be a good leader, you must concentrate on growth concepts. Having a continual expansive mind that seeks out opportunities for progress is necessary. For this, you'll need to forge good connections and establish solid networks in your field, and also across your community.

You will need to be inspirational with your people and be ready to share knowledge and ideas. And at the same time, you also have to focus on creating common vision and direction with your team.

This requires you to be conscious of other people's goals, needs, challenges and concerns.

What qualities do good leaders have?

The most significant quality they possess is that they do not have leadership self-deception.

Durable leaders are clear about their strengths and flaws. This requires self-knowledge and an acute ability to be critical of yourself. You will have to learn to come to terms with who you are, be comfortable in your own skin, and deal with your emotions; but do all of this while being driven by a moral, ethical, and growth-centric compass.

Leaders who do this will be motivated by ideas and the pursuit of excellence, and will have no time to wallow in the mundane.

You must be able to be compassionate while forging ahead, you cannot suffer fools while embracing people, and you need to recognise virtuous people even while leading disparate individuals.

What do bad leaders do?

You'll end up on the pile of rubbish-leaders when you are consumed by thoughts of hatred, negative emotions, and defensive as well as bigoted tendencies. This will eventually lead to a whole host of unresolved personal issues, and will result in regular clashes of opinion with others.

Bad leaders suppress, oppress, and compel people.

How do good leaders behave?

It is always empowering when you have a good leader, boss, or captain in any endeavour. They use their charisma positively. They give you energy. And they release

you to become the best version of yourself.

Good leaders will celebrate your victories and offer you protection, guidance and inspiration for your defeats. An honourable boss will see their own role in your failure, and will be magnanimous enough to share the blame. And when a problem is solely your own doing, they will work at lifting you.

Leadership, in the final analysis, is always about being inspirational and making a positive difference in constructive ways.

Functional and insightful leaders will have great lucidity and attention to drawing inspiration from others. This awareness naturally leads to them to eventually becoming role models for others.

Through their thoughts and actions, they invite others to shine with no coercion. They realise that adults are self-directed, and change will only come when it is experiential, self-reflective, and born out of self-awareness.

Real leaders work on changing the mindset, and not just the behaviour of their team, by instituting rules, and enforcing them. Real leaders help you want to do the right thing.

So, the question remains; are you a good leader?

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