If you have ever gone hiking with Terry Brock, there is a good chance you have been lost.
The thing about hiking with Terry is that he always inspires you to believe that he knows what he is doing. Whether you are hiking on a goat trail high up in the Rockies or paddling on a canoe trip down a strange river, there is always the chance that your life is in danger, but when you are with Terry you usually feel calm.
All of us know some good leaders and Terry is a great leader. Terry also happens to be a Catholic priest.
Great leadership is something that every organization needs, churches, government and especially business.
When our organizations are floating along without good leadership we know and we complain. So what is it that makes a good leader?
Dr. Daniel Goleman in his study of 200 large global companies found that truly effective leaders are distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence. Leaders like Fr. Terry have this emotional intelligence.
They are able to understand and feel the needs and sentiments of the people around them. They are also able to admit when they have taken you down the wrong trail or to the edge of a cliff. They have a sense of humility, are trustworthy and persevere when things get tough.
Great leaders also do four other things well.
No. 1 - Great leaders have a vision: They know where they are going. They might not always know the way to get there but they have a good idea.
Without goals or plans leaders fail and having a vision that you can communicate can inspire others.
No. 2 - Great leaders keep it simple: Leaders communicate things in ways that others understand. Listen to inspiring leaders, they don't often spend hours telling you what needs to be done.
Martin Luther King's famous speech was only 17 minutes long. TED talks are under 18. When we give clear and simple instructions, others can follow. Keep it simple.
No. 3 - Great leaders build on strengths: These leaders don't try to do it all themselves. In fact great leaders build on the strengths of those around them. They build a team of people who are better in those areas where they are weak.
In our society, often we think we have to do things alone, but great leaders understand that in order to be successful, we are better off working as a team.
Change in society, or in a business, takes a lot of hard work, and good leaders know that they will burn out if they try to do it all themselves. They start by using their strengths to build an organization that is better than they ever could be.
No. 4 - Great leaders build great systems: Whether you are building a company, an organization for social change, or a government, leaders know that they need to build systems that make it easy to be successful.
Implementing systems that reduce work, learning time, or the transition to an emotional intelligence are key to great leadership.
The leader does not always need to come up with the system, but when they see it, great leaders find a way of implementing those systems.
There are great leaders all around us. I hope you take the time to recognize one today who has inspired you and take the time to share this article with them and tell them you recognize them in it.
Better yet, just thank them for the change they have inspired.
Dave Fuller, MBA, certified professional business coach, is the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy and can be reached at email@example.com.