Seven fo­cus ar­eas for lead­er­ship mas­tery

Lead­er­ship is about shar­ing a vi­sion and guid­ing oth­ers to achieve it, as Caro­line Bold­er­ston ex­plains.

Elite Agent - - FIRST PERSON - CARO­LINE BOLD­ER­STON Caro­line Bold­er­ston heads up the Be­ing Bold Coach­ing Academy and pro­vides coach­ing and sup­port for prin­ci­pals and sales lead­ers. For more in­for­ma­tion visit be­ing­

WE OF­TEN HEAR about dif­fer­ent forms of lead­er­ship – in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship, mo­ti­va­tional lead­er­ship, in­no­va­tive lead­er­ship and lead­ingfrom-the-front lead­er­ship. Lead­er­ship is many things, but in essence it all comes down to this: a leader pro­vides a path­way to help oth­ers ex­pand their think­ing, chal­leng­ing their be­liefs and at­ti­tudes about what's pos­si­ble. Lead­er­ship al­lows oth­ers to own their con­tri­bu­tion, which boosts con­fi­dence, growth and per­sonal per­for­mance.

A mas­ter leader en­cour­ages oth­ers to con­trib­ute to im­prove­ments and in­no­va­tion, guid­ing them to solve prob­lems in a way that demon­strates good judge­ment, thought for con­se­quences and aware­ness of the im­pact each de­ci­sion has on the team.

Im­pact­ful lead­ers cham­pion ex­cel­lence, ex­pect noth­ing but the best and are un­apolo­getic about cre­at­ing a cul­ture around it.

The best busi­nesses I have seen have a keen fo­cus on lead­er­ship at all lev­els. In­vest­ing in and in­spir­ing every sin­gle per­son on a team to be­come in­cred­i­ble lead­ers of them­selves first cre­ates a pas­sion­ate, thriv­ing and har­mo­nious en­vi­ron­ment where ev­ery­body wins – not just those at the top.

Here are the seven fo­cus ar­eas to lead­er­ship mas­tery: Clar­ity of pur­pose. You can­not lead if you do not know ex­actly what you want to achieve and why you are do­ing what you do. You must start with a clearly de­fined vi­sion and set of core val­ues that drive the be­hav­iours of the team and un­der­pin the di­rec­tion that the team is head­ing. This is the big­gest weak­ness that I see in many teams and is the first area to fo­cus on.

Out­stand­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. Great lead­ers de­velop ef­fec­tive lis­ten­ing and ef­fec­tive ques­tion­ing skills. This means hav­ing the abil­ity to hear what isn't be­ing said, as well as be­ing able to speak plainly and with clear in­ten­tion. Demon­strat­ing the stan­dards for open and trust­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion is im­per­a­tive.

Trans­parency of ex­pec­ta­tions. The strong­est lead­er­ship comes with struc­ture and bench­marks around per­for­mance. How can any­one achieve ex­cel­lence without the clear frame­work of know­ing how high to climb? Mas­ter lead­ers fo­cus their ef­forts on build­ing struc­ture around de­tailed job de­scrip­tions and de­fined op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures and sys­tems. This not only im­pacts en­gage­ment and morale, but more im­por­tantly re­moves the need for blame or ex­cuses, which drives a strong cul­ture. Cul­ture of ac­count­abil­ity. To truly get the best out of your peo­ple they need to know that their in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance will be mea­sured and re­warded, no mat­ter what their role within the team. Recog­nis­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing when val­ues and re­sults are on or off track is a vi­tal part of be­ing a mas­ter leader. Low morale or lack of en­thu­si­asm is the di­rect re­sult of in­con­sis­tency of be­hav­iours and per­for­mance be­tween team mem­bers. A mas­ter leader knows this and is con­stantly shin­ing the light on these fun­da­men­tal driv­ers.

Growth mind­set. Mas­ter lead­ers un­der­stand that one of the core hu­man needs is to be con­sid­ered good enough. Your peo­ple will per­form their best when they feel they are be­lieved in and that op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop and grow ex­ist within the busi­ness. En­sur­ing there are path­ways for learn­ing, skill de­vel­op­ment and ca­reer pro­gres­sion will keep mo­ti­va­tion and en­gage­ment high amongst your team and en­sure re­ten­tion of qual­ity peo­ple.


De­ci­sive­ness. Great lead­ers are pre­pared to back them­selves and what they be­lieve in. They are ruth­less when it comes to mak­ing de­ci­sions to pro­tect cul­ture, to in­no­vate and to im­ple­ment change. In­stead of rash choices, they make bold judge­ments by pro­vok­ing thought and chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo when de­ci­sions need to be made.

Hu­mil­ity. True lead­er­ship mas­tery is achieved when you get over your­self! When you be­come self-aware you know that it's not about how good you are, but how great you can be at sup­port­ing and en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to be amaz­ing. Build­ing a team of in­di­vid­u­als whom you gen­uinely want to be bet­ter than you cre­ates an out­stand­ing en­vi­ron­ment of be­long­ing, re­spect and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

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