Can we make leaders? Can we make ourselves into leaders? Hell yeas!

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Being a good leader is simply a compilation of good habits and actions that each of us wants to hone, no matter our field or level of management. Because good leadership development includes a collection of skills that we can all use! 

Today I’m sharing another concept of my own development. I call it the SMART Leader Making model because I want you to be really clear that leaders can be made, we are made. None of us just popped out that way. That’s why all the big leaders we know of have coaches, mentors, mastermind groups and BOD’s. They use tools and resources to build habits and skills.

Even Steve Jobs, everybody’s favorite entrepreneur, got fired because he was a crappy leader. And then he went and grew up, got game, came back, and kicked a** because he was visionary.

BIG NOTE: That is not say Steve had a clear vision in detail of what he wanted Apple to produce. He didn’t. He had a clear vision of the influence he wanted Apple to have. And then he had the biggest, most expensive R&D department Apple has ever seen or will again, it seems. He let his team play with the what and how. He just kept is laser focus on his why… and shared it, lived it, talked it… all day long at work.

DOUBLE BIG NOTE: Steve’s visionary style of leadership is not what made him and Apple amazing. It was Steve:

  • knowing what he was and was not good at,
  • hiring to fill the gaps, and
  • getting out of the way

that made him GREAT!

You can read numerous accounts if his tyranny and shortcomings. None of it mattered. He was human like the rest of us. And he stood by, “staying out of the way!” and “telling his story.” Even when he forgot and had to correct his course.

You may principally be any style of leader you choose and be amazing. There are those will claim one way or another is best. That a: coach, affiliative, visionary, or other style is what’s needed here or there. I say learn to wear every one of these hats if you can, know your default style and who cares after that.

Being a good leader is based on being strategic, not tactical, being mindful and aware of your actions, daring to be accountable to your word, honing your resilience, and developing your tenacity without sacrificing that resiliency you worked on. That’s a LOT! Is your personality really all that important in light of all this? To your team? To your company’s success? Probably not. It’s going to come out anyway.