Leadership is obviously not something to be taken lightly. Being a leader comes with a lot of perks. But it also comes with a great deal of responsibilities. The burden of leadership sometimes is overwhelming. But what does it mean to be a leader? Leaders are not someone who just gives orders and demands for someone to do. A good leader is not one who sits back while his or her followers do all the work. Being a leader has different meaning to different people. But there are quite a significant amount of commonalities in what most people define leaders are.
Some of the common understandings of leaders are quite obvious. A leader is someone we can look up to. Someone we can trust to guide us to where we want and need to go. Leaders are powerful and commands respect. They are always confident and have great experiences. Leaders are thoughtful and always have all the answers. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But the common idea we have for leaders are a great individual who we can place our trust and hopes in to guide us to better days.
For new leaders, this is obviously some qualities that you may not have. Not to fear because none of us are born leaders. While the phrase “A Born Leader” sounds very catchy, it isn’t real. Great leaders, and even those who were great at a young age, learned to be great leaders. It may be through apprenticeship, scholastic education, or just simple life experience. Leadership is a skill that is learned and can always be improved upon.
As new leaders, what you need to understand is that you need not have all the answers. You don’t have to be the perfect great leader from day one. Believe it or not, no one expects you to be. Great leaders we are familiar with such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and other great leaders didn’t start off leading a great movement that we are familiar with. They too started their journey to great leadership small and with little experiences. Through time and experience, they developed their leadership skills that are powerful, persuasive and effective that we are so familiar with today.
Understanding that you’re not expected to be that great leader, yet, take your time to develop your leadership skills and style. While you’re not yet expected to do great things, there are still expectations from you as a new leader. Here are some areas you can focus on as you develop your skills.
- Followers – Leaders are not leaders unless there are followers. If there’s no one following you, then you’re not a leader. You’re just an individual. Understand your followers and what they want and need. Why do they follow you? Without this understanding, there are no clear direction. Take care of your followers and they will take care of you.
- Objectives – Understand the clear objectives that you and your followers need to achieve. Make sure that your followers understand your objectives and they buy into it. If your ideas on objectives are not cohesive, then there will be conflicts and you may likely not get to where you need to be.
- Oppositions – Many leaders are so focused on what they need to do, they forget to look over their shoulders to see who and what their oppositions are. Understanding your competitors and those who stand in your way to achieve your goals is crucial. If you miss this aspect then you may be just playing into their hands without knowing it. Even with great intentions, you may be leading your followers to impeding failures unknowingly.
- Intentions – Once you have a clear understanding you of your followers, objectives and oppositions, develop a message to your intentions. What you plan to do and how you plan to do it matters. Convey a clear and persuasive message for your followers. There needs to be a clear direction and method on how to get there.
Regardless of what your objectives and intentions are, how you get to where you need to be matters. If you reach your goal but along the way you’ve lost your followers or credibility, you haven’t reached success. As you develop your plans and skills, understand the CHIE leadership philosophy which you can read more about here. Applying Consistency, Honesty, Integrity and Empathy to your leadership style will not only get you to where you need to be, but will also build great trust with your followers. CHIE will help make you a leader that you and all your followers will be proud of.
Photo by: Pressfoto
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.