Have had the opportunity to witness some Amazing leaders in my 25 years of working or serving some of the greatest companies globally. The five essentials that I believe all Amazing Leaders possess in leading their organizations to excellence include:
1. They walk the talk
2. Are brutally honest
3. They over communicate
4. Manage themselves as a brand
5. Create magical teams
One of the best examples of “walk the talk” happened when we were on a project and our manger (Partner at Accenture) was requested to help us by emphasizing on a few bullets that we had been communicating with the team. He looked at the list and replied by stating that he agreed with the list and will communicate that in his next monthly team meeting. After he emphasized the few points, we saw a marked improvement in the team that made us wonder as to why he waited for a month to deliver the message. When approached with this question his reply was, “When you requested me to assist, I was not practicing one of the items on that list hence I had to make sure that I practiced everything on that list before I went preaching”
Amazing leaders do not worry about winning popularity contests. Their only approach is setting and achieving goals, raising the bar at each level, genuinely caring for the organization and the team while being honest.
They are the first ones to raise their hand and admit that “this one is on me, this is my mistake” and similarly they are not shy in holding everyone around them to be accountable irrespective of the consequences. They provide brutally honest feedback; explain where we went wrong and lay out expectations for improvement at the same time.
One of the best examples of as a leader is Greg Popovich (NBA Basketball of the San Antonio spurs coach). I have seen him communicate as fiercely at rookies as he has with his top 3 stars and I am confident that if you asked any of his players they would say that they are very fortunate to have him as a coach.
Amazing leaders have the uncanny ability to see the big picture, break it down into smaller manageable pieces and then rally the team by communicating rigorously till everybody is either behind the vision to where people get on the same boat or are no longer in the boat.
The key reason for being amazing is that they are transparent, do not step around issues and gain the trust of the team by sharing everything to get their opinion while knowing that the ultimate decision making responsibility cannot be delegated.
Amazing leaders treat themselves as a brand just like any other great brand, expectations are met or exceeded on a consistent basis.
When we think of great brands like Ritz Carlton, Lexus, Apple, etc. they have two things in common,
1. From a Functionality standpoint the product exceeds the minimal functional expectations consistently
2. An “Image” that is branded with the functional capability
Amazing leaders first of all make sure that they meet the “functional requirements” by ensuring that their values drive their decisions to where they are true to themselves and focus on the image with their dress code and behaviors that is consistent with their functional qualities. Picture the following leaders and what image comes to your mind as you think of amazing leaders such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Jack Welch, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.
Amazing leaders create a team that have high chemistry, where team members challenges each other while also feeding off from each other’s success.
In these magical teams, each member has a specified role that requires no delegation since they know what to do without being asked and even more importantly when they see a team member struggling due to an unusual circumstance, one of the peers is ready to step in without being asked such that no balls get dropped.
The amazing leaders know that to create magical teams, their job is to define the roles, bring the correct people on board, set the direction, help create chemistry, be ready to assist, provide coaching and then get out of the way so the team can win championships.