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The 7 Hats of Great Leadership: Do You Have Them All?

Have you got a leadership mindset? I'm gonna show you 7 of the hats you'll need to wear to be a great leader in your team and organisation.

Each of these capabilities is a distinct set of skills that coalesce into a wider capability. And the more of these capabilities that you as a leader can develop, the more skilled and effective a leader you will be. 

The 7 Hats of Great Leadership: Do You Have Them All?

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Connector

There's a reason why leaders get involved in a lot of different cool initiatives and projects. It's because they are plugged into the people network of their organisations and beyond. They have a presence on their company social platforms, and are regularly reaching out to people that they find interesting or that they believe they can assist.

Help others, and the favours are likely to be returned in time and when they are most needed.

And then as well as the ability to reach out and help, the connector role comes into it's own when leaders develop such a deep network that when they speak to someone with a problem, they know just the person that they can provide the solution to that problem or advance a project that bit more. 

It takes a lot of effort and time to build those presences, to reach out and develop those relationships and a lot of calls, meetings, talking. But when you've got that presence and are widely known in your organisation as someone that can be a facilitator then you'll be able to bring benefit to your own career and so much more. 

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Steward

For most great leaders the overall mission they are following isn't all that much to do with themselves, if at all. 

Great leaders want to progress their mission, but that mission will be about developing a business, a company, an organisation, a function or a group of people. It won't be about their rise to the top

As a steward, the leader knows that they are ultimately serving someone or something. Their mission moves the goals onwards. The servant leader knows that it's not about them, and they are humble enough to recognise this. 

Not only does the leader define that path forwards for people, they invest their time in making sure their followers remain confident in their decisions to come along for the ride. 

Sure there will be some leaders that might skew the balance towards their own self-promotion, and I guess that's human nature. But the best leaders, the leaders that are worth following, put their followers first. 

Coach

Many people think that coaching is something that all managers and leaders do. That's most certainly not the case

Coaching refers to the ability of someone to be able to ask open ended, and thoughtful questions that trigger responses in other people. Responses that allow the individual to work out their own solutions to issues. Career coaches don't solve problems for people but instead help people build support frameworks so that they can solve the issues themselves. 

You'll find the most effective and dynamic leaders will also act as coaches to their leadership teams and sometimes several levels down. They'll spend time with their people to give their perspective and help the person deal with the multitude of challenges that the corporate world throws at them.

In shorts, the leader will help them be the absolute best they can be and be able to develop and evolve. 

Coaching can be really hard. I often speak about the sports coach mindset, where just like the players on a sports team, each person in a work team has different motivations and reacts differently to motivating factors. What stimulates one, wont have an effect on the other.

Great leaders spend time getting to know the people that they lead and they apply a tailored approach to each person. That way they can really get to the heart of what makes people tick. 

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Executor

In a corporate environment you'll find many people that are SOOO busy. But they're not achieving results and they're not advancing the mission. What they are doing is killing themselves and heading for burnout. 

You'll see great leaders as people that are not only busy, but crucially are achieving results - they are actually getting things done. They hit dates, they achieve deliverables, they complete projects, and they advance their mission and that of the company as a whole. 

As as part of that execution they'll bring their people along on the ride. They'll give great credit where it is due and make sure that the people that helped them deliver are front and centre when the praise is being dished out.

Great execution is fundamental to being an effective leader. Always ask yourself, I'm super busy, but what did I actually achieve in that time and with that effort? 

Expert

Great leaders don't get to where they get to without knowing their stuff. Leaders are true experts at at least a few of the key aspects of their role.

The leader will not only have the expertise in the subjects that matter, they'll have a broad and far reaching understanding of many related topics that they might not necessarily be experts in, but will have enough of an understanding to make a compelling difference to the mission of the organisation.

But crucially leaders won't just rush headlong into learning everything they can. They'll apply a lot of careful consideration to the topics that are going to make the biggest difference. Up and coming technologies, new processes, imaginative ways of working, the leader will be all over what's new and exciting. And then when it comes time for your business to adapt, the leader will have built the understanding of what's coming down the track, and that makes you and your business much better positioned to take advantage. 

Planner

Leaders have a cause or long term goal that drives everything they do and everything they ask people to do. 

All their work supports the end goal of the mission. You'd be amazed how many people don't have a mission to their work. They come in, do their job and go home. And that's fine. But the presence of a positive, compelling mission is one of the things that marks leaders out from the rest

And that mission isn't just a pie in the sky dream with no way of achieving it. Leaders will have a plan, a roadmap, a set of milestones - all of which take them and their organisation closer to the end results that they want to achieve. 

Leaders will have a long term mission, with a breadcrumb trail of short term goals that will facilitate progress. And crucially, they'll regularly review, monitor, assess progress, and readjust if necessary. It's a long and winding road to success, but leaders know where they're going and how to get there. 

Conductor

Successful organisations find themselves getting into the groove. Just like a band that's rocking it on stage, or an artist in the flow of creativity, organisations and teams thrive on morale, atmosphere, culture and momentum.

Great leaders use their skills to shape the right cultures for success. Cultures that encourage innovation and empower. Teams that celebrate successes and challenge the norms that they've done for years to find better ways of working.

And then when that teams hits the seam of gold that is amazing productivity, the leader helps to conduct and keep the momentum and rhythm of achievement by fuelling the positive aspects of the culture. They give more reward, more acknowledgement and break down more of the barriers. And that just fuels the success and creates even more momentum.

As a leader yourself, do consider which of these hats you are wearing at any one time. And are there any that you find you do well? Or that you think you need to develop? Which ones fit comfortably, and which ones don’t. By being self aware enough of your own performance and capabilities in each of these roles you'll be able to grow your leadership capabilities as a whole. And then you'll be able to help other people develop their own leadership skills and evolve your organisation.

Are there any other hats you think great leaders wear? Or that they should wear?

Do check out my online courses here.

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Paul Banoub
Featured Uplyrn Expert
Paul Banoub
Technologist, Leadership & Productivity Expert, EntrepreneurNOW Network
Subjects of Expertise: People Management, Productivity, Leadership
Featured Uplyrn Expert
Paul Banoub
Technologist
Leadership & Productivity Expert
EntrepreneurNOW Network

Subjects of Expertise

People Management
Productivity
Leadership

Leave your thoughts here...

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Priyanshu Ranjan
  • 2024-01-05 02:34:59
It's really very important to ...
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S Bhavadharani
  • 2023-12-30 09:41:48
I feel Leadership is a quality tha...

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