Leadership – 1st in a Series

Ed BurghardThe Art of Leadership

One of the most important skills you can master for success is leadership. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to learn about leadership from some of the world’s best leaders during my career at Procter & Gamble. Leadership is one of the skills Procter & Gamble values highly and invests a significant amount of time to develop in its employees.

Throughout my career I have made it a habit to journal the lessons I have learned. Lectures heard, courses taken, 1:1 mentor meetings, books and articles I read, are all sources of knowledge for my journal. Recently, I decided to take the time to review my journal notes. I took some good notes on the subject of leadership and decided they would make an interesting series of blog posts.

Hopefully you will find value in the perspective of some of those leaders who taught and inspired me. Their perspective has helped shape my own thinking and behavior. Unfortunately, I did not always write down the source. Consequently, I’ll simply attribute the wisdom to the amazing P&G leaders I’ve come in contact with over my 33-year career with the Company.

 

Leaders1

 

Words Of Wisdom

The best way to determine if a person is truly leading is to look carefully and see if folks are following over time. Neither fear, nor rank can produce productive followers.

Leaders are easy to follow. You know where they are headed and what their expectations are. They steer by a consistent and clearly articulated vision.

Leaders take a long-term perspective and train their people to do the same. They recognize how hard it is to win if the direction is constantly changing.

Leaders act in a manner that makes people want to follow them. They empower, trust and act as a barrier buster.

Leaders help people improve their own leadership skills. They train, they encourage, they give credit, and they act as a positive role model.

Leaders reward their followers for outstanding work so their current followers feel good about their accomplishments and want to stretch for even better results.

Leaders have a healthy dissatisfaction for the status quo, for both themselves and their business.

Leaders demonstrate integrity. People want to do what is right, and they want to follow somebody they can trust to operate ethically.

Leaders encourage and manage change; they see change as an opportunity for both personal and business growth, not as a threat.

Leaders have fun. They see leading as a blessing not a curse.

Discussion

The above is not intended to be a comprehensive description of a leader. The list simply represents notes I took from a lecture or training course. But, I hope the concepts have the power to make you reflect on the subject, and maybe do a little introspection regarding your leadership mastery.

From the list, was there any thought that struck you as an “Ah Ha”? Did you disagree with any? Which thoughts in the above list do you feel are the most important?

Please leave a comment with your point-of-view.

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