What sort of leader are you?
My name’s Rashid Kotwal.
Over 40 years I’ve come across a wide variety of leaders. Some great, others positively toxic.
I vividly remember one particularly toxic individual back in the 1980’s.
Completely autocratic, he simply didn’t trust any of us to do our jobs. He’d walk around checking up every hour or so. And the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I was discussing a particularly thorny technical issue with two colleagues, and he came around, asked what we were doing, and then said, it doesn’t take three of you. One of you leave.
So I took that to heart and left the company, much to his surprise.
On the flip side, I’ve had bosses who were completely wishy washy. You didn’t know what they stood for. They had trouble making decisions. And could not keep people accountable.
As a result, fingers kept being pointed when stuff wasn’t done, productivity suffered and eventually businesses folded.
There is a healthy middle ground.
I firmly believe that as a leader you job is to empower your people. Give them responsibility and authority. Hold them accountable for their results.
And then let them get on with it. And by that, no, I don’t mean abrogate either.
Effective leaders genuinely care about their people. Both on a work and personal level.
You know what they stand for. Their values and beliefs. They’re open to input and take opinions into account, but are willing to take a stand and make difficult decisions.
Sometimes you have to be ruthless when the situation demands it for the greater good. Just do it with heart.
Above all, leadership is about creating a space where people want to belong. It’s about bringing people with you on a journey to accomplish a common goal.
Remember, no man is an island. To achieve great things necessitates a great team. We often only hear of the front person like a Richard Branson, forgetting that success only comes from having a great team behind you.
Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.