I continued the dialogue with the PRSA New Professionals group on what effective leadership looks like today. The series airs here on the PRSA New Pros blog, and the dialogue has been so great that I want to continue to bring the topic and conversation to you, too. Please weigh in with your thoughts on this important question:
What is the key to great leadership today?
The question of what it takes to be a great leader is a fascinating one, a point made abundantly clear from the recent responses I received to the question following my last post. I challenged readers to give me their best insights on great leadership, and they delivered!
Everything shared was insightful, including the need for leaders to go out of their way to connect with their teams, to inspire, to be transparent, to have humility, to challenge the status quo and to encourage different points of view.
Many also talked about understanding and valuing the important role that each individual plays toward achieving an organization’s goals. To that end, great leaders have a mindset that everyone on the team is a leader. They help everyone develop their leadership skills so they’re ready, willing and able when it’s their chance to lead.
Just consider the annual scene of geese flying south for the winter. It’s then, when the geese are searching for a warmer climate, that we see the flying-V formation overhead. What’s particularly interesting is that the goose at the apex of the V might be considered the leader. They set the course, lead the way and deal with the most wind in their face.
But that’s only for a time. When the lead goose tires, he or she moves back to the end of the line. Then, a new goose becomes the leader – setting the course, leading the way, and dealing with the most wind in their face.
What business needs today
In business today, organizations need a similar formation, with everyone leading regardless of whether they manage people or not. And that means everyone needs to be ready to lead when it’s their turn.
Once leaders can foster this kind of mentality in an organization and build leaders' capability, they can help ensure accountability. If everyone sees themselves as leaders, few feel comfortable straying from the ethical standards and values that the company promises to live by.
In my view, that’s one of the most important keys to great leadership.
In my next and last post in this leadership series, I’ll offer some critical tips for how to lead in an authentic way – one that’s motivational and inspirational, as well as is true to who you are.
In the meantime, I’m interested in your thoughts:
In what ways could your organization better help everyone to be a leader?
- David Grossman
The PRSA New Pros Blog is run by an impressive team of young professionals and I urge you to check out the great work they're doing.