I interact with a lot of younger or newer leaders. Still being in my 30’s, I still feel like there is more for me to do or accomplish. Yet, that thing always seems to be out of reach for many leaders.
In his book The Catalyst Leader, Brad Lomenick lists how to be a leader who is capable of accomplishing things:
- Capable leaders constantly push forward. Surround yourself with people who spend more time dreaming about tomorrow’s possibilities than dwelling on yesterday’s failures. It’s easy to lament bad decisions, but a leader who can push ahead of them is invaluable.
- Capable leaders are team players. At Catalyst, we argue on principles, but we always have each other’s backs. In order to succeed, you need confidence. And you can’t have confidence without trust.
- Capable leaders own their mistakes. A leader who blames others for his mistakes cannot grow in his role. Look for team members who can admit missteps without growing discouraged.
- Capable leaders are willing to take risks. If an organization is going to thrive, the leaders must be willing to pioneer new territory. Surrounding yourself with people who will boldly step out even when it doesn’t make sense is important.
- Capable leaders are constant learners. Capable leaders never stop growing and getting better. Learners are committed and coachable, always students and desperate to learn. They nurture a professional curiosity. What kinds of books are they reading, if any? Do they subscribe to any podcasts? How are they attempting to become better at what they do? Do they listen more or talk more? As your organization grows, you need team members who are constantly learning.
- Capable leaders aren’t entitled. I believe that experience creates expertise. So the best leaders develop in the midst of action—doing, not just thinking or dreaming or talking. I need to know that my team is willing to break a sweat alongside me.
- Capable leaders are anticipators. You must stay a step ahead of the people you serve. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending all your time reacting to problems and concerns and mishaps. It’s imperative for leaders to figure out what the organization needs before anyone else ever realizes it.
- Capable leaders are persistent. They see things through and don’t give up. They don’t ask just once and read Facebook until they get a response. They follow up again and again until they get the answer or solution they need.
- Capable leaders are trustworthy. Because they can be trusted, capable team members are among the most valuable employees in any organization. When they make a promise, you don’t have to worry about follow-up.
- Capable leaders deliver. Capable leaders get things done. I look for people who do what they say they will do. This allows me to delegate more and manage less. Team members need to make it happen no matter how insignificant the task or assignment.