Leadership in a Nutshell

Gill Corkindale shares this summary of what it takes to be a good leader:

1. Be aware. Understand yourself and your context. Know your own strengths, limitations, and development needs. If you don't have time to build your skills, bring people into your team who will complement you. Be aware of the organization and the people you are leading. If you have moved from a start-up to an established organization, for example, the people and the rules of engagement will be very different.

2. Have a plan. Know where you are going. One great definition of leadership is to have followers. If you cannot create a sense of the future, no one can follow you.

3. Build relationships. Give more of yourself. A leader has to get things done through others, so people skills are critical. Take time to get to know your peers, bosses, and subordinates. Talk less, listen more, and remember the details of what people say. Investing time to understand the roles, ideas, and personalities of those around you will yield a strong network, corporate allies, motivated staff, and personal goodwill.

4. Deliver. Get things done. Whatever your line of business, you need to show the results of your leadership. So whether it's a better product, an improved service, a higher profit or share price, make sure you deliver.

5. Have integrity. Get your values right. Your values define who you are and why others should work for you. The important point here is that values should be lived, not written down or occasionally talked about. Show by your own example that honesty, truth, transparency, respect, and sustainability matter.