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Communicating as a Leader

Leaders – What Makes Them Tick

Akhil Shahani asked:

Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F. Drucker

Entrepreneurs are indeed a breed apart – otherwise why would anyone want to take the kinds of risks that they do and be willing to sacrifice so much? The typical characteristics of a great leader or entrepreneur usually run from risk-taker to visionary.

Let us now take a moment to separate the myth from reality and find out what makes certain leaders thrive while so many others struggle:

Are they risk-takers? While the evidence would suggest that great leaders are risk takers, the actual truth is a little different. While they are indeed risk-takers, what makes them different is the way they respond to stress. It is their “performance under pressure” that sets them apart from the crowd. They thrive on adversity and challenges but the more important attribute is that most of them are also capable of managing and mitigating their risk.

Are they control freaks? It is true that one of the basic characteristics of top leaders is their need to control things. It is also equally true that great leaders remain leaders by being able to delegate responsibilities and inspiring trust among the employees.

Are they quick decision makers? According to stereotype, successful entrepreneurs are quick on their feet, great at making decisions on the spur of the moment, but may not be good at long-term strategic thinking.

Not so! It is their general awareness, alertness, the ability to read and analyze a situation and the tendency to think strategically that makes them the great leaders that they are. Combined with this is their ability to take decisive action.

Are they bad listeners? It’s a common perception that leaders are impatient and rarely listen to others. They are projected as bullheaded people who just do what they perceive as the right thing to do.

In fact, the truth is the opposite. True leaders understand and appreciate that great things cannot be achieved single-handed – it needs a team to achieve success. One of the traits of a truly great leader is their commitment to build a team of like-minded people. They have the innate ability to foster good relationships among team members and have exceptional communication skills that inspire total commitment from their co-workers.

Leaders succeed by helping people they work with – their employees, partners, investors and suppliers, become successful themselves.

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