Leadership Traits: Run Towards the Fire

Written by Joanne

Topics: Leadership

I once heard someone say the definition of leadership is someone who “runs towards the fire”. At the time and under the circumstances, I agreed with him. We all know there are times when a business has a ‘fire’ that needs urgent attention. But then I started to think of other examples in my professional life where this is not the case.

How about the time when a large project was fast approaching a deadline and it was nowhere near close to being done? And no one recognized it until the deadline was just around the corner? If the project lead pulls out all the stops and gets the team to perform heroic acts to get the work done, is he a leader? I say no. True leaders know how to keep their team on track, not just when someone else is looking.

Have you ever seen a team in complete disarray? Where a large part of the day is spent worrying about who is supposed to do what or who will be called out on the carpet next? Getting a dysfunctional team under control might be a “fire”, but that team lead is not a leader. A true leader aligns his team to a goal, makes sure they understand what needs to be done, and gives them the tools to get it done.

Successful leaders are those that know where they are going, can communicate it to their team, and keep their eye on progress towards the goal so that corrections can be made before the fire rages. How else can you keep your business focused on long-term goals rather than reacting to a daily crisis?

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