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John C. Maxwell is am American author, speaker and pastor who has written many books, primarily focused on leadership. For years, I’ve quoted and used his leadership principles and I highly recommend a cover-to-cover read of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. In the meantime, below are my top great leader ideas that you can begin implementing immediately on your way to becoming a great leader.

Top great leader ideas

Be trustworthy

If your team doesn’t trust you, they’ll only partially follow you and only give you a half-hearted effort. Building trust must be your number one priority. To build trust you must ensure that you are seen as competent, connected to others, and that you demonstrate character and integrity. Of these, character and integrity hit the top of my list. Character and integrity give your team members a zone of comfort about you. Character flaws make them uneasy and hinder them when it comes to giving their best.

People will not follow a leader who is incompetent. They won’t find a disconnected leader credible and they’ll run from a leader who displays a lack of character!

Develop your skills

Leaders are both born and made. All leaders have an urge to develop a vision and get buy-in for that vision. A real leader must have a desire to constantly develop their skills, even if they have the innate ability to lead. A self-development plan requires consistent improvement of: reading, formal and informal training and networking. Check your organization for leadership training offerings. Look around for developmental opportunities you can try in other organizations. Want to be a great leader? Work to be better tomorrow than you are today.

Set your team up for success

A great leader finds it difficult for their team to lose. Great leaders find it hard for anyone on the team to lose. As a great leader, you haven’t really won if your team members lose individually. What would it look like for everyone on your team to win? Answer that question and you’re headed toward an incredible vision.

Some leaders believe that their people should just naturally give that ‘A-Game’ performance. One of the worst things you can do is to should on your people. People perform because they get something out of it. If they get something from someone else, they will leave to follow that opportunity. Find a way for every team member to win and they’ll remember it when it’s back-up-against-the-wall time.

Connect to your team

If you want to get an ‘A-Game’ from your folks, you need to find a lodging place in their hearts. You’re looking for an emotional performance from them. When you get in their heart, you will become part of their reason for giving that extra effort. Some follow because they feel they have to, and others follow simply because it’s for you. Be the kind of leader that followers want to put out for.

Delegate power

Timid leaders have a fear of their subordinates. They are so worried about losing their position and standing in the organization that they do all they can to keep all the control. This can cost them their very best performers to leaders who will share power. Some leaders keep their mediocre performers who don’t work very hard or have real authority. And they bottom line is power hoarding leaders seldom get very much done.

In my Performance Maximizing Leadership presentation, I teach to only do those things that only you can do and then delegate everything else. This will not only free up your time for more important work, but it will also empower your team to give you that ‘A-Game’ performance.

Which of these great leader skills are you already implementing?

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Art Jackson, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach

Art Jackson

Art Jackson is a professional speaker and executive coach. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills.

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