A few weeks ago, my editor ask me for a quick tweet grasping my thoughts on leadership. More precisely, she asked me about the differences between a leader and a boss. Now, this is a classic question typically leading to statements regarding the overall capacity to create a team out of a group of people, thus involving drivers such as his/her motivational skills, long-term vision or willingness to overcome daily duties to take the team/organization one step further. Something probably winding around the idea of trascending hierarchy (internal focus) to embrace customer or business-focused principles. To me, these kind of definitions are vague enough to be obviously true, but essentially non-workable. Don’t take me wrong: we do need leaders with such accomplishments, but, more importantly, leaders need to focus on tangible, simple actions to get there. Do you want to engage your team? do you really want to lead? then walk your talk: be coherent, be guided by the very same principles that you insist on holding your team to and, first and foremost, show your customers that your approach is not just a fancy theory. Rest assured: everybody will notice Thanks to my job, I meet smart people (or considered as such) on a daily basis, hard worker professionals quite (less) frequently, but very few people that really walk their talk.
Becoming a role model is not about doing a lot of things very well, but just being rock-solid about a few, essential things. Coherence is definitely one.