The Fundamentals of Leadership Still Haven't Changed

December 14, 2018

The Fundamentals of Leadership Still Haven't Changed

The Fundamentals of Leadership Still Haven't Changed

Type "leadership books" into any search engine and you will be presented with an almost unending list of results. Take a closer look and you will discover that the list consists mainly of lists itself. An even closer look will reveal that the same 20 or so books dominate.

Despite the fact that these books were first published decades apart, they have distilled the timeless fundamentals of leadership. Here are the 6 traits that we believe are the most important and most effective:

  1. Good leaders unite people around a shared vision that breeds excitement.
  2. The strategy for that vision is as much about what to do as it is about what not to do.
  3. Building a team of the best talent allows a leader to implement their visionary strategy.
  4. The best leaders are characterized by a relentless pursuit of the objectives of their strategy.
  5. They consistently improve on their vision and strategy through innovation.
  6. Effective leaders must first be able to lead themselves.

Different authors have differing opinions on the relative importance of these traits and on how they should be implemented. However, they consistently include these basic characteristics.

Putting any of these ideals into practice can take many forms. Factors like the leader's personality, the industry, and local culture dictate the specifics.

Inspire

A shared vision is relatively simple to construct; injecting excitement into the idea is somewhat more challenging. Remember one rule: your team feeds off your vibes. Passionate leaders inspire their teams seemingly without effort because their personal emotions rub off on the people around them.

What Not To Do

In the fast-paced world of business, quick learners will always outperform the overly cautious. Good leaders embrace the "fail and fail fast" mentality which allows them to course-correct on the fly. They learn what not to do quickly and accelerate their pathway to success.

The Team

No single individual, however charismatic, can make a truly momentous impact in business without the right team. The ability to inspire the most talented people to join the team, and then drive them to achieve beyond their potential is critical. Just as important is the confidence to delegate responsibility to the most capable individuals.

Persistence

No journey with a worthy destination is easy. Leaders who possess an indomitable spirit and are willing to endure the bruising road to success are few and far between. That is why so few succeed where so many try.

Innovation

Successful companies gain an edge in a competitive world because they give the consumer something that no other competitor does, or they give it better or faster. A good leader has the ability to innovate a solution that outdoes what the market currently offers.

Discipline

Leadership is a journey of constant learning and self-improvement. Individuals with the will to pursue their goals with a passion, to learn from mistakes, and to delay self-gratification for the company's good will always prevail.

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