Although there is short list of leadership types and styles that we can assess and study through Industrial Psychology or Organizational Behavior, we all know from empirical data and observation that leaders are as different and as individual as humans can be. However, there are 10 common elements that link all leadership regardless of type and style:
- Expectations: Every leader wants clear and defining results through a set array of business expectations. Clients need service and products and work needs to be completed.
- Decision Making: The quality of decision-making is always an important variable regardless of leadership style. Decisions determine both success and failure.
- Guidance: Every leader should offer guidance to employees, although some leaders never do, it is critical that guidance and feedback are a part of the process.
- Coordination: A few leaders are not good managers and vice-versa, but management is always a part of leadership and not the other way around.
- Communication: Degrees and networks for interaction determine overall strategy. Talking to people simply works.
- Relationships: No leader is an island. It takes numbers to create results. Good leaders always have good relationships.
- Competence: In baseball, they fire the manager not the team. Competence must be at least a baseline for performance.
- Trust: This is probably the most important leadership element. Without basic trust in leadership, nothing will move forward.
- Responsibility: No matter the amount the leader assumes, ultimately responsibility is on the leader’s shoulders.
- Vision: Engulfing and blending the other nine elements, leaders are known for their vision and often remembered for their mistakes. Although mistakes will indeed happen, a powerful vision allows for both growth and opportunity, regardless of obstacles.
As complicated as leadership can be, the quality of it is quite simple. Good leaders will last and poor leaders will often go away on their own. Success is the denominator of longevity.