There are many different industries, and types of business, out there – ranging from the restaurant business to construction companies to City financial firms.
There aren’t necessarily too many points that link all these different industries, but there are a few – and one of them is undoubtedly the need for good leadership.
When a company is run by competent, focused, and accountable leaders, it’s amazing what can be achieved. On the other hand, when a company is run by the kinds of leaders who constantly make excuses, don’t really know what they are doing, and like to cut corners, the prognosis is not good.
So, just what does it really mean to lead well in your business? Here are some ideas.
1. Lead from the front, with complete accountability
You wouldn’t necessarily think that retired US Navy SEALs would have lessons to teach that could be directly useful to the restaurant business, or to the business world in general. But Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, authors of the book Extreme Ownership, and founders of the leadership training company Echelon Front, have something to say about that.
The primary message from these two former SEALs is that leadership is the most essential resource in any company, and that the fundamental element in good leadership is what they call “extreme ownership” – also known as “total accountability.”
Being a good leader means leading from the front, in the trenches with your men, and exposed to the risks of failure yourself. It also means never making excuses when things going wrong, but always accepting the role you played in the shortcoming.
Leaders who practice extreme ownership are far more likely to make a success of their companies. They are also far more likely to have the respect of their employees.
2. Give something back
The company New Era Fuels is known for supplying goods like Gas Oil, and philanthropic work isn’t necessarily in the job description. Nonetheless, this company has sent members on visits to children’s hospitals, with gifts, as a way of giving something back to the community and making a positive impact in the world.
Good leaders know the value of giving something back – to society more broadly, and to their employees more specifically. Loyalty and goodwill are largely based on the understanding that you are in a reciprocal relationship with the people around you. Morale is also likely to be higher when you are more positively oriented towards the world.
3. Always act with integrity
It’s absolutely impossible to be a good leader if you lack personal integrity, and are prone to lying, cheating, and deceiving. Even if you are tough, and even if you are smart, if you don’t have character, no one will be able to trust you, and the systems you contribute to will be innately dysfunctional.
If you want to be a good leader, one of the most important things to do is to develop your own moral character to a high standard. Be the kind of person people can rely on – not the kind of person everyone is wary of.
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