I am always impressed by natural leaders. I am sure you are all familiar with at least one natural leader. You know the type. The very act of walking in to a room demands respect. When they chair a meeting they are quietly in control. When they are working in a team they have strong opinions and know how to argue for them without alienating the rest of the team. They ooze confidence.
How does one go about emulating such people?
George Bradt, in his book “The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan” gives five pieces of advice to leaders on their first days in a new role:
- Align the team around a burning imperative
- Exploit key milestones to drive team performance
- Over invest in early wins to build team confidence
- Make sure the right people are in the right roles
- Evolve people, plans and practices to capitalize on changing circumstances
All of the natural leaders that I am fortunate to know take these principles and adapt them to other situations. For example, when chairing a meeting I would expect the leader to:
- Align the team around the purpose for the meeting
- Exploit immediate needs to drive the team to focus and meet the goals for the meeting
- Start with a review and summary of current status, giving out praise where praise is due.
- Ensure the right people were involved and engaged in the meeting in order to build the confidence that the required outcomes will be met.
- Focus on the goal and drive to a plan that is achievable.
What principles do you see driving the behaviour of the natural leaders you know?
How do they adapt them to varying situations?
What lessons could we all learn from this to allow us to emulate their performance?