It’s easy to tell a good leader from a bad one—but how do you tell a good leader from a great leader? That secret lies in their forgotten skill.
Many people who move into leadership positions get caught up in thinking that power is the way to build great leadership, when in fact it’s just the opposite.
Power come to those who take on responsibility—not just for themselves but for others.
As with so many things, if you have to tell people you’re in power, your power isn’t that genuine.
If you aspire to achieve greatness in leadership, it’s a must that you develop a healthy relationship with responsibility.
Here are some ways great leaders can take on responsibility:
Create a framework others can follow.
People need a map, a guide, a blueprint to help them know which direction they need to follow. It is the leader’s responsibility to show them a path and a vision. When you have that framework in place, it provides focus and discipline, and those who resonate with it will follow without being told.
Earn people’s trust.
Earning trust is crucial; people need to have confidence in their leader. When there is no trust, people will alienate themselves from those in authority. Great leaders who have earned the trust and confidence of their people know that their team is inspired, committed and motivated.
Invite feedback and criticism.
It’s the responsibility of a leader to invite open criticism. When you make it to the top, many people will tell you what you want to hear, but that’s not how you learn. Great leaders aren’t interested in the shallow validation of hearing how great they are. Instead, they take on the responsibility of making sure they know about their mistakes and weaknesses.
Set high standards for integrity.
It is a leader’s responsibility to implement, develop, monitor and enforce ethical behavior. Integrity starts from the top and moves throughout an organization. Responsible leaders hold a mindset that cares for the needs of others and takes citizenship seriously. Each action and word must meet a moral and ethical baseline.
Understand leadership is not about you.
It’s about others. The leader may hold power and authority, but those things come with obligations. Leadership is ultimately an act of service. It’s impossible to treat it otherwise and achieve greatness.
With great power comes great responsibility—not only to yourself but also to those you lead. As a leader, you must always be willing to show accountability and to respect and serve others. The true source of power is not titles or bank accounts but service and responsibility.
Lead from within: The forgotten skill that will make you a better leader is knowing that the price of power is paid with responsibility. As Plato stated, the measure of man is what he does when he is in power.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.