What makes a great leader? This is a question that is tossed around and mulled over hundereds of times a day. Everybody has a philosophy or a vague idea but nobody really knows the answer. The trouble is the definition of leadership changes so quickly. It has to. To keep up with change in society leaders have to keep changing. Like trying to hit a moving target, leaders have to be clear, focused yet flexible enough to adapt when you don't know what you are adapting to.
I watched a motivational TedTalk leadership speech by Roselinde Torres. Torres has studied leadership for over 25 years and she suggests to understand what makes a good leader, we need to contemplate the following three questions:
- Where are you looking to anticipate the biggest change to your life? The motivational leadership speaker suggests the answer is your calendar... who are you spending time with? What are you doing? Are you shaping your future not just reacting? Great leaders see around corners and shape their future instead of just reacting to what happens.
- What is the diversity measure of your Network? Develop a network that is very different than you. Great leaders understand a diverse network is key to being able to anticipate change and think outside the box.
- Are you courageous enough to abandon what has made you successful in the past? Often we get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing over and over again because it works.
The soul searching that evolves from these three questions will help uncover direction for many leaders to head; but the change ultimately evolves from hard work and determination.