Becoming a Great Leader

“If you build an army of 100 lions and their leader is a dog, in any fight, the lions will die like a dog. But if you build an army of 100 dogs and their leader is a lion, all dogs will fight like a lion.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Working with a great leader is a inspiring experience. Some leaders have a knack for laying out a vision. Their passion and dedication can be seen from a mile away. Tack on the ability to foster broad support and effectively execute… buckle your seatbelts!

With the perspective of 20 year of working with a wide variety of leaders, I now recognize that working with a good leader is something that can be taken for granted.

Personally, I consider myself lucky as I’ve truly never had a ‘bad’ boss. However, there is a big difference between a ‘good’ boss and a ‘great’ boss.

With all this in mind, how do you turn this around onto yourself? First, remember that everyone has the opportunity to act as a leader. The concepts of leadership are not only traits for people with direct reports. These traits are also important for individual contributors.

So ask yourself… Am I a great leader?

*Hint* – The answer should be ‘No’.

Everyone has opportunity to grow. Even the ‘great’ leaders I’ve worked with in the past still had soft spots. But what are your most vulnerable areas?

If you are not sure, ask coworkers and peers for their perspective. Take time to reflect on areas for improvement. Build a plan to work on the areas where you need to strengthen your skills.

No question, some people have natural leadership strengths. But to think you are perfect is probably a weakness. Don’t expect to be perfect right off the bat. Plan on incrementally improving.

Build a plan and keep striving to be an awesome leader. As you strengthen your skills, others will notice and pay attention. Here’s to becoming a Lion!