In 2010 the Work Foundation produced a list of 9 common themes that they identified from their research that are common amongst outstanding leaders. We have added our view to the points below:
1. Think systemically and act long term.
We need to apply 'macro thinking' with regards to business and brand development. We may need to sacrifice or not reap as much short-term in order to have what we truly want in the long-term.
2. Bring meaning to life.
Vision is key. True organisation vision that is shared amongst all, believed and most importantly applied to all interactions.
3. Apply the spirit, not the letter of the law.
Focus on a few key systems and processes which help provide clarity. Apply them to achieve outcomes rather than focus on the process.
4. Grow people through performance.
Our greatest belief: people. Invest into them for their own personal and professional development and you shall receive in turn.
5. Are self-aware and authentic to leadership first, their own needs second.
Be a role model for others but it needs to be authentic. Don't try to be something you are not, people will see through the facade and you will lose their trust.
6. Understand that talk is work.
Relates to point 4. Know your people, if you don't then how can you help them develop themselves?
7. Give time and space to others.
Don't just delegate tasks, empower people. Everyone works better when they do it for themselves.
8. Put 'we' before 'me'.
Empower people. One brain does not know everything.
9. Take deeper breaths and hold them longer.
A cycle of evolution, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Give trust, empower and enable people to take risks and try new things out. By doing so, they will grow through learning and feedback. As they improve, you get a better employee which in turn improves the organisation. It's not rocket science.
'Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don't want to' - R. Branson.