Pick up any of the whole host of great leadership books and you will find a huge range of ideas on what it takes to prosper as a leader.
Whatever level you are at in your leadership journey, I believe that there are two key building blocks that every leader must have.
Building Block 1: A leadership mindset
Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, at least not in the organisational context. The leadership mindset is not just about having vision, for me it is about:
A huge amount of self confidence and self belief. Without these essentials it is always going to be a struggle and feel stressful. Self confidence is often one of those things that people mistake as being hugely extroverted and charismatic. You can still be introverted and quietly confident and achieve great results.
A shed load of personal resilience is also vital in my experience. There will be challenges, setbacks and disappointments. These go with the territory. The real test is how you handle these.
A ‘can do’ or positive outlook is another important ingredient in terms of mindset. It is almost like holding the viewpoint that there has to be a way of achieving something even if not initially obvious.
Building Block 2: The right tools
This I suspect might have been what people expected to be first. Yet in truth, if you don’t have building blocks sorted, all the tools in the world are not going to help you. ‘Tools’ is a term I use in the widest sense and includes:
Practical experience in doing something.
Appropriate levels of knowledge
The right skills to get your message across, win support, influence and get the best from people.
The Bottom Line
Success as a leader is as much about your outlook and mindset as it is facts and techniques. So where do you need to focus your development to achieve more success?
By Andrew Clapton