By Craig Johns

I believe great leaders aren’t there to maintain the status quo, as the company will over-time lose its relevancy, the staff will become de-motivated, and it is likely there will be a downward trend in profitability. A great leader will cultivate a culture of continual change and growth. They will have the unique ability to empower belief, influence people’s thoughts, and involve team members in the journey so everyone feels like they own the company’s direction.

 “Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.” Unknown

A great leader is someone who is the catalyst of new ideas, positive change and team success. They expect failures, quick learning’s and team members identifying multiple ways to find new solutions.

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Bill Gates.

People talk about issues and problems, but great leaders find success through stimulating environments that present engaging puzzles to solve. If there is an issue or a problem then something is broken. If something is broken it requires it to be fixed, which often leads to a ‘Band-Aid’ approach that has a limited lifespan. A great leader knows that success means the team gets presented with better puzzles to solve.

“Life isn’t about finding pieces of a puzzle, it’s about creating and putting those exceptional pieces together.” Glen Van Dekken

A great leader will not motivate staff, they will create opportunities for team members to bring out their own motivation. They will bring out the rookie, in each team member, on a regular basis, as they know that ‘what we know gets in the way of what we don’t know’. Team members will be placed in situations and given projects that inspire new ways of thinking, and opportunities to gain new understandings from other people, both internal and external to the company.

“Live your life with the people that bring out the best of you, not the people who love to bring you down.”

Environmental scanning is an innate characteristic of a great leader, who is able to manage complexity while keeping their eyes on the prize. They will foster innovation and creativity, while persisting in the team achieving goals that align with a vision for the future of the company.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

A great leader creates lasting relationships and understands the importance of all team members having a purpose that leads to making a real difference. The great leader shows empathy, has humility, is honest and is accountable to the team.

“The more you can contain your ego, the more realistic you are about your problems. You learn how to listen, and admit that you don’t know all the answers. You exhibit the attitude that you can learn from anyone at any time. Your pride doesn’t get in the way of gathering the information you need to achieve the best results. It doesn’t keep you from sharing the credit that needs to be shared. Humility allows you to acknowledge your mistakes.” Larry Bossidy

Company culture will be modelled, cultivated and encouraged by the leader. They know that team member’s personal values must align with company values, and will therefore hire accordingly. Hiring people with greater skills than what they possess, is crucial to company success.

“I think the most important thing is just if you hire people whose values match the corporate core values – and not just the ones stated.” Tony Hsieh

A great leader will be courageous, decisive and optimistic, while remaining aware of the environment. Their most effective asset will be their ability to inspire and then get the hell out of the way and let the team do what they do best.

“Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” – Winston Churchill

A great leader has a global understanding, and thrives on having a culturally and generationally diverse team. Most importantly they will enable a culture of enjoyment, because if it isn’t FUN then why are we doing it?

Are you hiring great leaders?

Thanks to Tourism NZ (Group photo)

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