What is the core of leadership?

In a word: expectations. But let’s start at the beginning.

A leader can’t be everywhere. They can’t do everything. An effective leader imbues their colleagues with the right information, right motivation, and correct thinking to execute without oversight. Bill Walsh, linked below, believes leader is synonymous with teacher. A leader sets the standard of excellence for their organization.

Teaching isn’t limited to the classroom. Your every word and action will have some impact on your colleagues (and this applies to everyone, not just leaders). The example you set is more powerful than any memorandum. Consistency is key. If you respond to feedback with pettiness instead of gratefulness what do you think will happen? People will stop giving you feedback. If your approach to decisions changes constantly, how could anyone rely on you?

The easiest way to be consistent is to be authentic. It takes much less effort to be yourself.

If you are authentic you will find consistency easy. Consistency will lead to clarity in expectations. Clear expectations will empower your colleagues to execute in your spirit without direct oversight.

Additional Reading

Discussion Topics

  1. Consider the best and worst leaders you’ve come in contact with. What were they like?
  2. Have you heard “leaders don’t wait to lead”? What does that mean? Is it true?
  3. Outside of a formal classroom how would you teach your colleagues?

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