Corporate managers and executives have a tendency to rule with not an iron fist, but something much worse: they rule with corporate propaganda and the market ‘numbers'. That isn't leadership. Real leaders empower their team members with passion (for the project), lead by example and work hard to understand the needs of the members.
There are two things that make great leaders great, and turn management into rock star leadership:
Passion is the desire, the burning fire, the drive that pushes us forward. Every leader needs this. But more importantly, they need to transfer this drive to their fellow teammates.
People make things happen, and without them any project would flop. The duty of any leader is to understand the needs of his or her teammates and make sure they have the passion and drive to make this project a success, but that also their needs and expectations are met.
So let's start by talking about the need to have passion as there are several parts to this.
Passion For The Project
Without passion for project is essential. Another way to read this is: Do you believe in the project you are working on? I mean really believe and not just doing it for the pay-check. If you are doing it just for the paycheck, then there's no way you can become a leader in the group. Take a look at Steve Jobs and Tony Robbins and then compare their drive, their passion and their love of themselves and their projects to the depressing middle-aged balding guy sitting in the cubicle next to you who always complains about how he hates his job.
Steve and Tony put all their hearts into everything they did. And it showed. Mr. Job-hater over there, well … even on a good day, having him running a interesting project would really kill the moral of people because his un-interested attitude and, in this case, distain for the job will show. One bad apple will sour the bunch.
If you truly believe in the project, know for a fact it'll make a difference and is doing good you'll put all your effort and backbone into it. Your enthusiasm will show and you'll take great strides to make it happen.
Passion For Yourself
This article isn't about self-esteem, so I'll keep this section brief. Though if you do not love yourself, how can you except others to respect and look up you? Have you really ever seen someone whom you might call a “natural born leader” who is always depressed, self-loathing and overall negative? Nope.
Learn to love yourself, and be happy with who you are. People respond very well to happy, confident individuals.
Passion For Your Team Members
Great teams make great things happen. Not-so-great teams make no-so-great things happen … if anything even ever does happen!
As a leader, it's your responsibility to make sure that you love your team and that your team loves each-other and that they also love you. You must be putting their desires above yours in-order to make things work.
This isn't a dog eats dog world. If it is, then you're living in the wrong place.
Great leaders care for their team members as if they were close, good family members. When this happens, you aren't really working for the project anymore: you're working for your team-mates to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
This brings us to people. Because without them, nothing is possible.
People Make The World Go ‘Round
Can you lead without people to lead? No. This means that are a leader you have the responsibility to set an example of strength and all things that are good.
This isn't that hard of a task either. All you have to do is remember that those whom follow you are people too. They have their own needs, their own expectations, their own points of view.
You're job is to make sure you're team members needs are met. Needs that could be financial needs (you're underpaying them? Or maybe overpaying and they feel bad about it?), time needs, happiness needs (the work location just sucks?), workload needs (too much or too little), quality of work needs (is the work too boring?) and so much more.
Leaders make sure the peoples needs are met thus creating an environment that naturally creates success.
Now I ask you dear reader, what have you done lately that was good leadership?