After surveying thousands of organizational leaders, interviewing hundreds of leaders on the “Follow My Lead” Podcast and being a true student of leadership for over five years, it’s beyond evident to me there is an upper echelon of leaders. So much so, it forced us to come up with a name where these leaders stay called the ‘Welding zone.’ It’s also clear they hone their leadership craft by relentlessly pursuing the development of their skills every day because they know:
Leadership is a journey, not a destination
While most of the best leaders have an idea they are great, I have found there to be a group of leaders who are unaware of how great of a job they are actually doing. In an effort to help you identify if you are a tremendous leader, look for these signs.
You “love” your people
No, I am not talking about any kind of Human Resource violation here. I am talking about, “to contribute to the long-term success and well being of your people.” There is no doubt you want what’s best for others in their career and you consistently show it through your actions.
You help others make better choices
Most people assume leaders provide discipline. In fact, it’s very much the opposite. It’s the leader’s job to “promote standards in order for an individual to choose to be at their best.” You understand this and make conscious decisions to not choose for your people. You encourage them by providing consistent standards and holding yourself and others accountable to them.
You say “us” and “we” a lot
The easiest thing for a person to do is to look out for themselves. You understand the importance of giving the glory to others but are quick to take the blame when things go wrong. You consistently talk to others in terms of the collective team instead of your own achievements.
You allow enough room to fail
Chip Brewer the CEO of Callaway golf was a guest on the Follow My Lead Podcast and said. “As I think back to leaders who made a big impact on me throughout my career, it was the ones who allowed me the room to fail. They didn’t lose confidence in me through that process. In today’s world, being a leader isn’t about getting everything right, it’s a continuous improvement process. It’s giving people the room to grow and improve and not being that quick to always step in.” You live this out by giving your people enough space and freedom to try new things and sometimes that means failing.
You inspire others to achieve more
There is nothing worse than showing up for work every day just to punch the proverbial time clock. Life is too short to be mediocre and achievement is at the core of our human nature. You understand this and consistently challenge your team and gives you to achieve things that they never thought possible.
You have trust-filled relationships
In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. The relationships you have with your people might as well be a playbook for others on how to build relationships. You know and live out a leadership principle from the Welder Leader Program:
Elevating a team’s performance requires a bond of mutual trust
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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a full-service organizational health company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. He is also the author of FML: Standing Out and Being a Leader and the upcoming book “The Welder Leader.” You follow him on instagram @johngeades.