Making swift, courageous decisions and leading by example… that’s the essence of leadership. In theory, the ideal leader must have infinite flexibility to adapt their leadership style according to the situation and Associate needs. That said however, in today’s business environment, companies are realizing that the perfect, flexible leader does not exist. Every leader has strengths and weaknesses and there is a need to strike a balance using the individual’s preferred leadership style and vision, as well as meeting the needs of the situation. A leader never suffers “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of his corporate vision, while inspiring others to do the same.
While leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow, most leaders must have the discipline to work towards their vision single-mindedly, as well as direct their actions and those of the team towards a common goal. Leadership needs to be appropriate for the situation and can range from completely dictatorial to collaborative to totally hands off, empowering others to make all decisions. Regardless of leadership style, every business organization needs leaders at every level and a good leader, whether they naturally possess leadership qualities or not, will be diligent to consistently develop and strengthen their leadership qualities in their leadership role.
Leadership is developed from two perspectives, the business organization on one side and the individual on the other. A business needs leadership by need and the individual by talent. Businesses need leadership that supports the business’s culture, goals and mission statement. A leader must be able to communicate their vision in terms that Associates will accept and be willing to follow. This communication must be clear and passionate, as passion is contagious. Getting involved and being ahead of your Associates is one of the most important functions of a valued leader who wants to create cohesive and willing followers who feel confident that they will have guidance when needed and are motivated by example to perform at their best.