In Good Boss, Bad Boss, I came across this definition of what it means to be a leader:
A boss’s job is “to eliminate people’s excuses for failure.”
The author, Robert Sutton, went on to distinguish two aspects of a leader. The first aspect is to manage and oversee performance meaning are you doing everything possible so your people can do great work? The second aspect involves humanity. Are you helping your people “experience dignity and pride” in their work?
If you Google “definition of leadership,” you’ll get over 500 million results, each highlighting a different aspect of what it means to be a leader. Some keep it short and sweet in a single sentence. Others list out 10 commandments leaders should follow.
I believe the true definition of leadership is a personal one, and it’s unique to each individual person.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the same conversation with multiple people. In those conversations, I defined the three characteristics I believe make up a good leader so I wanted to share them here.
My personal definition of leadership is that it involves three pieces:
- Setting the vision for where your team is headed.
- Providing actionable feedback to help them get there.
- Developing your people by connecting them with opportunities for growth.