What Makes a Great Leader?
Wouldn’t it be great if the people who write the scripts for the popular action TV shows knew what the great leaders do or do not? What does their purpose need to be to provide great leadership? Special Agent Gibbs of NCIS, Special Agent Pride of NCIS, New Orleans and Special Agent Epps from an older series, leads an FBI team in L.A. titled NUMB3RS are just a few examples.
They micro-manage under the guise of protecting their people. Aren’t they making sure that they will be needed? They know everything about their team members (great!). On the other side, they begrudgingly tell their team about themselves especially when it comes to stuff that isn’t working for them. They give their team members very little opportunity to fail, so they don’t use their failures to their advantage. It’s all in an attempt to look good.
The leader of the team is only as good as the team members. Coach John Wooden, Hall-of-Famer, always said to his many and varied audiences, “get good players.”
Of course they will make mistakes, didn’t you? That’s how they become great players. Find out what they learned. Practice what they learned. I’ll say it again … practice. When they do, acknowledge them for that and even the slightest progress. In fact, every time they make the slightest progress, acknowledge them.
Most leaders, consciously or unconsciously, NEED their team to screw up once in awhile so they have insurance that they will be needed. Policemen don’t actually eliminate crime. If they made crime disappear they could lose their usefulness. I know you probably think I am nuts, but before you ship me off to the funny farm, stop and think about it for a second.
As a leader, if they knew all your strengths and weaknesses, what then? If you acknowledged your failures or weaknesses that would be a breakthrough. Then you could practice together. All they want to know is you are human and that you love them. Back in the day, people used to say “ if you want them to learn to swim, throw them in the water.” I say, first a little prep and then throw them in the water.
Be who you want them to to be. Acknowledge their efforts. Practice, practice, practice.