“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
John C . Maxwell
There are endless numbers of definitions of leadership. I particularly like this quote from John Maxwell, as I think it goes to the heart of modern leadership.
Knows the way: Leaders have to have evident expertise in the field in which they are leading. People are reluctant to follow someone unless they believe that the leader possesses the expertise they do not. Yet expertise is not enough. The leader must know themselves, strengths and weaknesses, and still have a high degree of self regard in order to project confidence in their ability to lead.
Goes the way: The leader earns the credibility and confidence of their team by walking the talk. They model the success behavior they are are trying to teach their team.
Shows the way: They engage sincerely and intentionally with their team across the 360 degrees of work, personal, and family objectives. They spend intentional time developing their teams. They give their team ownership of their goals and results, and then hold them accountable for the results. By putting missed results on the table immediately, they reinforce the engagement of the team member and power the learning that will come from reflecting on the miss and its root causes.