There’s a lot written about leadership, and as you’d expect there’s a lot of nonsense written about leadership. That’s because most of the people writing have no real experience with it and are writing from an observer’s standpoint.
But let’s look at how leadership really works, and step-by-step how you can become a great leader . . . guaranteed.
Great Leaders Know It Takes Support
It’s been written that behind every great accomplishment is a great leader at work, and that is true. Great leaders accomplish great things, but they do it with teams.
The myth about great teams is that they are all composed of super duper people—this could not be further from the truth. People are imperfect. Even the people with incredible strengths are often people with incredible, multiple weaknesses.The myth about great teams is that they are all composed of super duper people—this could not be further from the truth. Click To Tweet
What a leader does is fit all of these people together and make things happen. It’s been said that the world is full of people, ideas, and money, but the great need is leaders who can be the catalyst to take great ideas, people, and money and make great things happen. The only shortage holding the world back from major advancement is the lack of great leaders.
The rewards for being a great leader are astounding, and it’s something that you should aspire to, because no matter if you are an individual artist, performer, athlete, or entrepreneur, you’re still going to be incredibly limited on how far you can go without a team. Great achievements require teams.The price of being a great leader is huge, but the rewards are astounding. It’s something that you should aspire to, no matter who you are. Click To Tweet
Even Tiger Woods, who recently won the Masters, has an insanely wide team of support . . . from his personal support group of his family and friends, to his business support group of his managers, to his on the course support team of his coaches, club fitters, club designers—even people who do nothing but design his shoes.
People who know Tiger Woods will tell you that he’ll talk for days about the specifics of just his shoes. And we haven’t even talked about the team that works on his putter.
So even an individual performer like a golfer or a tennis pro, much less an entrepreneur or business leader, requires a team behind them to do great things. Each of these people have their role to play, but the one role they can’t play is being the leader.
Utilizing your support system is one of the various ways that successful people stay calm.
Great Leaders Have to Lead
Only the person at the center of the spider web can be the leader. Only the leader is aware of all of the different things happening with all of the different people involved, and the timetables that each of them are on.
Only the leader knows how important each player on the team is to the others, exactly how they interact, and how they depend on each other.
Everyone on the team is focused on their responsibilities in their world. There’s no way they can be aware of all of the details of the big picture and do their job.
The leader has to lead, and leading means winning. Leading means working with the team in a way that allows them to perform at their best and complete their goals in the time frame they have allotted. Only the leader can cause the team to perform at a winning level consistently.
Only the leader can notice where the weakest link is and be the one to jump in and make the adjustment—either with a new procedure, new tools, new ideas, or, if necessary, replace the weak link and get new personnel in there.
When everything has gone wrong, all the standard systems and approaches are failing, and everyone has lost hope, it’s up to the leader to dig deep and come up with a new fresh idea or solution. Actually that’s where the leaders earn their money. That’s where the leaders distinguish themselves.
They don’t distinguish themselves when everything is going great and everyone is getting along. They distinguish themselves when everyone is furious with each other, morale is down, the perfect storm of failure has hit all at once, and it appears that all hope of getting the job done is lost.
I put all of this on the table to let you know how important the job of a leader is, and why it’s absolutely essential that there be a great leader leading the team if there’s any hope of great things being accomplished.
Fortunately, there is a fool-proof process for you to develop into this kind of leader. And, believe it or not, it’s the same process that is behind the development of every great leader there’s ever been.
The best leaders have the best systems, and now you can too.
It starts with you, and it starts with your desire to do great things with your life and learning the process of winning. The first two things you have to have as a leader are the ability to get excited about things and the ability to get other people excited about them. The next thing you need to learn is to know how to get things done and how to teach other people how to get things done.
It starts with you getting excited about things and going out and making things happen for yourself—you learning how to win. This is you learning what I broke down in my book, Serial Winner, into the cycle of success.
The 5-Step Cycle of Success
- The first step in this process is you have to pick your target—you can’t have eight #1 targets at once. You can only have one #1 target. You have to learn to be able to sort through the options and get a workable game plan for making your goal happen.
- Now, you learn how to launch with a bang and immediately start shifting the odds of success in your favor right from the beginning with your energy, focus, and effort.
- Along the way, you have to learn how to adjust on the fly with a great attitude. Not feeling sorry for yourself. Not being shocked that things don’t go perfectly, but just accepting bumps along the road as normal and seeing them as opportunities to learn new things and get better solutions.
- Learning to focus on finishing is critical to becoming a great leader. This means that once you have the finish line in your sights, you simplify, simplify, simplify to eliminate distractions and focus on what you have to do to get you through the finish line. And, additionally, once you approach the finish line, you raise your sights and start looking for the new opportunities that are waiting for you on the other side so you can run with excitement through the finish line to a bigger and better future rather than collapse in a heap and lose your momentum.
- And the final stage, which turns you into a serial winner, is that you immediately note to yourself areas that you could have improved on your way to finishing while they are fresh in your mind. These slight improvements in support, resources, skills, and game plans will allow you to do bigger things in the future quicker and faster which keeps life exciting and fulfilling.
What This Means for You
What we’re talking about is you have to learn how to win. You have to develop confidence in yourself. You have to experience the thrill of going after things that are important to you and actually see them happen. Doing this gives you confidence and enthusiasm that is infectious. You become magnetic. People want to be around you.
There’s a reason why people say if you want something done, find a busy person to do it . . . because the busy people are getting things done. They’re not laying around. The other side of it is when the time comes to find a leader for a project, no one looks around for the biggest loser in the group and says, why don’t we let them run things. Nobody wants a dead, dull, disillusioned crybaby running the show. You want the energetic, bright, cheerful person to be at the head of the team.
By learning how to win yourself, you create bigger opportunities, which means you need more help. So the next step in using the cycle of success to develop into a great leader is go to the buddy system. You find someone like-minded, with energy, that you get along with, that wants to be involved, and you take them along with you and teach them what you know. This is called duplicating yourself. Just by having one person around, you’re taking baby steps into leadership.
Climb These Levels to Become a Great Leader
- Level one of leadership is learning how to lead yourself.
- Level two of leadership is learning how to duplicate yourself and lead one other person.
- Level three is leading two or more people.
- Level four is leading and teaching people how to duplicate themselves.
- Level five is leading and teaching people how to build teams of their own. This is when you become a great leader.
As you continue to add people to your team, you learn how to deal with different personalities, different skill sets, different experience levels, and so the complexity of dealing with two or more versus one challenges you to develop your interpersonal leadership and communication skills.
Great Leaders Get Out There
Becoming a great leader is a whole lot of learning what you don’t know. You’re not going to really know what these things mean until you get out into the real world, working on a real-world problem with real people on a deadline and try to make something specific happen . . . with multiple people, multiple personalities, multiple things happening to throw you off schedule. It is an invaluable and inescapable learning situation. That’s where you learn what you don’t know. That’s what the professors and the people who write these books on leadership in the ivory towers don’t know. They’re prisoners of what they don’t know.
It’s just a complex world out there—getting more complex as we go. There are no easy answers, but there are answers and leaders who have been through the process. They’ve taught other people the process. They’ve taught multiple people the process. They have figured things out. They’ve dug deep for the answers. They’ve been through more situations. They’ve accumulated that magic ingredient for success which is experience. They are the ones who have earned the specific ingredient you need to be a great leader and that is successful experience in leading others.
This is why the best leaders and biggest winners learn from other winners.
Great Leaders Build Teams
The final piece of the puzzle in becoming a great leader is when your growth drives you to need the people who work direct to you to build their own teams. Now you’ve gone from duplicating yourself to team building. Now you’re not dealing with just individuals on getting things done, you’re dealing with teams of individuals getting things done. And again you start small. Start step-by-step. You grow into it step-by-step by accepting bigger and bigger projects and having bigger and bigger success. Now you’re learning really powerful lessons of leadership—these are ones that will allow you to have unlimited growth, because once you know how to build teams, there’s no limit to how big you can get.
This is why I say the guaranteed way to become a great leader is to start with the cycle of success yourself. Then as you become more successful and need more help, duplicate yourself. Build your team up to two or three, and then allow them to start building their own teams. Not only will you accomplish bigger and better things, you will develop incredible leadership skills you can use to accomplish greater and greater things the rest of your life.