Leaders, managers, supervisors – they are everywhere, but truly exemplary leaders are hard to find. We revere them as heroes to society, we sing their praises and share their quotes as a way to inspire others. But here’s the secret that applies to every one of those great leaders – every great leader once wasn’t, and most great leaders are not born, they are built.
Think about it, everyone has to have a first-time management or leadership position at some point. And an overwhelming majority of them will walk into a leadership role without any training, experience, or guidance on how to do it. Some have a true desire to become a great leader and work to build their leadership strengths and qualities, while others enjoy the power but never work to become the leader they need to be.
The truth is that not everyone promoted into a supervisory, management, or leadership position is cut out for such a role. Some people may be better in an individual contributor role, while others, with coaching, training, learning through “the school of hard knocks” or learning through “the school of CTAT, LLC!” can and will.
For example, some people may be great working one-on-one with individual clients, but having these type of skills doesn’t necessarily translate into leading a team.
Exemplary Leadership Takes More than “Technical” Skills and “Smarts”
In addition to training, coaching and experience, great leaders also have a good amount of “emotional intelligence” (or EQ). Many of the qualities that define an exemplary leader deal with how well they relate to their team. Without this quality, leaders can fall into the following leadership mistakes.
1. The Credit Stealer
A leader without a good amount of EQ, or one who struggles with confidence, can easily fall into the trap of taking the credit for their team’s accomplishments. The leader may believe this will build him up but the reality is just the opposite. The leader who doesn’t give proper credit to his team will soon find that his team members come to resent him. That resentment could grow into a team that’s disengaged (at the very least) or even tries to undermine him.
2. The Micromanager
Many competent and self-disciplined individuals when promoted can become micro-managers (another trait of a poor leader). They may not realize they are micromanaging their team members: they feel they are making sure work gets done in a timely manner and in a way the manager feels is best.
But micromanaging can leave team members feeling suffocated. They can start feeling that their leader doesn’t trust them. They could start telling themselves “Why should I bother doing more or trying new things; the boss will only shut me down.” That is where EQ comes in – learning, knowing and being aware of yourself and how you manage relationships is a key to success.
So how can you become an exemplary leader (or help a new manager excel in his or her new role)? The best way is to grow and develop your leadership qualities through leadership development training! Attending a leadership course or seminar can help you – or your new manager –learn additional tools and best practices to manage, develop and motivate a team. That’s why CTAT, in collaboration with the MAXIMUS Higher Education Practice, is excited to present the Leadership Development Showcase, hosted by the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. This one and a half day workshop is designed to give you a taste of the very best-to-build leadership skills in an empowering and stimulating environment.
In fact, our Leadership Development Showcase (June 23-24, in Denver, CO) will help you learn how to:
Our modularized workshop will help if you want to “raise your own bar” to become an even more effective leader, move into management in the future, or help members of your team, whom you feel are candidates for promotion, into a supervisory role. Whatever you do, don’t simply assume that you, or a manager you supervise, naturally has what it takes to be a great leader. Remember, few people are born natural leaders- and exemplary leaders are forged through challenges, training and opportunities.
Discover the exemplary leader within yourself at our Leadership Development Showcase in June. Reserve your seat today!