12 Most Laudable “L” Labels of Great Leaders
“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” ~ Arnold Glasgow
Have you been sticking with me through the entire 12 Most ABCs of Leadership series? You can catch the previous post at 12 Most Kickass “K” Knacks of Great Leaders. Meanwhile, check out these laudable leader labels…
I enjoyed reading F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack series. Throughout the series, Jack is manipulated and “honed” into a proverbial spear. He becomes the ideal weapon for a force beyond his control, and Jack goes through painful and tragic trials as this force prunes all distractions from his life. I both loved and hated the analogy as I saw the impact on the protagonist in this series.
A lance is a spear. It has “reach” when held in combat, and it can be thrown with great accuracy. It has a sharp “business end” to use in battle. Great leaders use their sharp intellect and accurate intuition to extend the reach of their organizations.
Here is the new vocabulary word for the week. To be latitudinarian is to be broad-minded, rational, and unprejudiced. Great leaders need to be all of the above in order to succeed and build trust with their team members.
Laudatory leaders openly express praise and are generous with the compliments. Sam Walton said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
Be generous with your praise, and watch your employees happily strive for better performance.
Rather than choose “learned,” which implies an education, I choose “learning.” John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Learning is an ongoing pursuit of more knowledge and skill. Great leadership is the ongoing application of that learning to have sustainable success.
I am sure some Apple employees will one day sit in their rocking chairs on their front porch and brag to their grandchildren, “I was there when Steve Jobs…” Other people can still relate their firsthand experiences when they heard Martin Luther King, Jr. first exclaim, “I have a dream!” Great leaders become legendary — not because they strive for legendary status; instead, it is because they refuse to accept the status quo.
In the NBA, your best sharpshooters are lethal from 3-pt range. In tennis, Serena Williams has a lethal serve and Steffi Graf was known as Fraulein Forehand because she had a lethal forehand. To be lethal is to be “automatic” and reliable. Your team and your success depend upon that lethal quality to provide a winning edge.
Neither panic nor rash decision-making have a place in great leaders’ arsenals. Great leaders know how to find the “space between the moments” to step back and make an assessment followed by calculated action versus knee-jerk reaction. They are masters at quickly identifying risks and mitigating threats to success.
John Maxwell said, “Anyone can follow a path, but only a leader can blaze one.” Limitless leaders know no boundaries. Perhaps a better statement is that leaders do know the boundaries; however, they are prepared to extend or obliterate those boundaries if they obstruct progress. Great leaders have the fortitude to blaze new trails.
Leaders recognize they did not make it on their own. They had great teammates, mentors and career experiences — and they never burned a bridge (OK, almost never). This is a hat tip to LinkedIn and the power of professional networking. Great leaders leverage their professional networks to identify opportunities and partnerships that benefit their organizations.
Leadership is not for the faint of heart! Sometimes it takes lionhearted courage to guide an organization in a direction that may seem counter-intuitive at first glance. Great leaders have the long-range vision and bravery to “boldly go where no man has gone before.” And it takes great leaders to find those new frontiers where organizations can take the initiative to beat the competition and establish first-to-market market share.
Mark Sanborn said, “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.” Lithe leaders are agile minded, and they maintain a flexible attitude. They are quick to adapt to changing conditions and that puts their organizations in the best positions to succeed.
Great leaders make their own luck through their preparation and work ethic. Gary Player, winner of nine major golf championships said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Great leaders apply consistent work ethics as models for their teammates. Do the same, and good luck is bound to come your way!
Avoid getting these 12 “loser labels” associated with your career: lackadaisical, laconic (brusque or curt), larcenous, lazy, lecherous, leering, lethargic, lewd, libelous (maliciously defamatory), livid, loathsome, and lustful.
Which laudable leader labels do you appreciate the most? Which ones would you add to the list?
Featured image courtesy of TooFarNorth licensed via Creative Commons.