How To Become A Great Leader

Black woman standing with files in hand

Everyone could be a great leader. But if people don’t have good role models, they cannot become one. We can serve as good or bad examples for our kids by mentoring them and living our lives either well or badly. Those people who settle for less and accept not being true leaders of their lives didn’t take responsibility for their knowledge.

Chances are, their parents and grandparents couldn’t assume leadership either because they didn’t believe their knowledge was very important. 

We should understand the importance of everyone’s knowledge, failing at this we cannot become whole. If you keep your knowledge to yourself but don’t pass it onto others, your life cannot become full. Wholeness can only be achieved when everyone is using and sharing their knowledge.

If you want to become a leader we can assume you have some type of knowledge. But if you don’t believe you are good or great enough at something, you won’t have an opportunity to lead. Being a good leader means you know the things you are good at and you also know the things you are lacking. When you acknowledge the things you are lacking, you can become whole.

When Can People Help

You can only acknowledge what you are lacking with the help of those people who know things better than you. You have to be willing to learn from them for your growth. Yet, many of us don’t want to do so. We can often misunderstand life by thinking we were born to lead, and we have to perfect our knowledge because it is expected of us.

Leadership has different levels. There are small, middle, and big leaders. Leaders know different things at different levels. Small leaders have to be a bit better than their subordinates. Mid-level managers should have more knowledge than small leaders and have to lead them as well. And the higher the leader’s status is the more he or she has to know. This would be the right order. And what’s reality like? Quite chaotic.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Small leaders often don’t know how they could help their subordinates, and they want to practice their authority. Therefore, at larger corporations, big leaders don’t see clearly who they work with, so they have to accept leading through the misinformation that is coming from leaders below them. Such big leaders didn’t understand these smaller leaders when they were appointed.

We Should Evolve Together

You should aim to grow together with others and it is only possible if you understand your place in a system. When everyone is in their place, everything goes well. The company is thriving, people are having a good time in it and the order can be maintained for a long time. But what happens when you want to break out of such a system? You decide to continue somewhere else. 

What if you want to learn, show, or try yourself in something else? The order of the existing system breaks down. And if it breaks down, a great boss acknowledges it and restores it. Because a good leader can see through it by recognizing where the shortages are. And knows how to fill in those gaps, even if he or she needs to ask for help. When the gap is filled, an order can happen again. 

But when not, the next person the boss hires needs to have the same knowledge as the previous employee, to avoid mayhem. This is a crucial part of the order in any business. If the new employee’s knowledge differs, the business will suffer its consequences. And it does not do any good to anyone, including the company. 

Our Learning Cycle Throughout Life

You can learn anything, the question is what price are you willing to pay. If someone who doesn’t have the required knowledge becomes a part of our system, we have to teach that person. If such a boss becomes part of the system who doesn’t know, then he or she doesn’t have anyone to learn from. Why is a leader essential? Because without a shepherd, the flock is lost. 

The more you learn, the more you are willing to lead others. It means if you know something you can teach it. This is the hallmark of a good leader. What’s more, if you have given away something you knew, you can learn something new instead. This is the hallmark of an even better leader. You teach and learn many times throughout your life. By taking turns. Whenever you have fully given away some of your knowledge, you can replace it with new information.

You can achieve new positions like this. If you don’t advance, you take away the chance of advancement from those who would follow. If you as a boss say, there is nothing more to be accomplished here, the following things can happen. Either everyone stops working, or they bypass you, or even get ahead of you because they want to evolve. Chances are they even leave you for another company for growth. 

If we teach our youngsters there is no more to achieve and to be content with what they have, we don’t help them. We tie their development as they cannot evolve. The bad news is, doing this also sabotages our own development. Why does someone older, more experienced would do so? Out of jealousy. If you are jealous of the person who follows you, then you don’t teach that person anything, but in return, the person won’t teach you anything either. 

The gap between you will always be there then, and you may have spent decades next to each other, none of you has gained anything from the other. Because you didn’t give each other anything. Therefore, the hallmark of a smart leader is that he or she teaches. All you can teach as a leader, so when someone comes in your place, you can say to others, they have progressed so well that they have reached your knowledge. 

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