A Guest Post By: Elysabeth Teeko
President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that leadership is “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Great leaders don’t look over shoulders or crack the whip at a deadline. Leaders are the men and women who don’t have to enforce rules or crack whips. Leadership is about knowing how to inspire people to achieve objectives by allowing them to do their best in any given situation. But learning to inspire people to do their best is not something that can be created at a seminar, cultivated at a weekend retreat or found in online MBA rankings. Good leaders live their lives everyday in a way that inspires others. Leadership is a way of life. To lead a leadership life, you have to cultivate the five C’s of leadership into your life by practicing everyday. These five C’s are:
A good leader is confident in all that they do—even when they aren’t. Confidence is not a quality that comes from having all the right answers, rather it is the choice you make to be decisive while setting goals and dealing with problems. You know what leaders are called when they can’t make a confident and informed decision? Managers.
Once a leader has chosen a path or direction, they commit to follow it to its end. A wishy-washy or fickle leader does not inspire confidence or respect in his or her followers. And when the path they are on turns out to be the wrong one, real leaders know when to change course, take responsibility and commit to a new solution.
Leaders don’t have to be witty to be great. In fact, they don’t even have to be the smartest person in the room. However, a real leader knows who the smartest person in the room is and has the foresight to let that person do their job to the best of their ability without interfering.
A real leader might not paint, but he or she can see the entire painting. Leaders know how to look at the big picture, dissect it, understand its individual parts and put them back together again in the best possible way. They use their creativity to find solutions to problems and confidently place the right resources where they are needed most.
Clarity comes from the ability to translate a vision into steps and processes that others can easily and willingly follow. A good leader knows how to communicate effectively, give good direction and resolve concerns in a fair and timely manner.
Cultivating the five C’s of leadership in your life will allow you to grow as a leader. But these are not qualities that can be cultivated quickly. A commitment to leadership means working everyday on being a better leader.