I was tagged by SQLBatman in SQL Quiz 4. The topic of this round is:
Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?
Honestly, I’ve had a lot of great bosses in my career but have come across even more great leaders. Like SQLBatman, I think it’s more appropriate to talk about the traits that have made those people great leaders rather than the people themselves.
Do it because you love it
This is a trait that I have found to be almost universal among the people I’ve always considered to be great leaders. They don’t strive for the limelight, they’re not doing what they’re doing for glory and name recognition. Instead, they’re doing it because they love what they’re doing. That passion shines through in every thing that they do and it’s infectuous. These are the people that not only make you excited to come to work, but they’re the people you go to for help because they’re so enthusiastic about what they do. And in this, they lead by following their own example. They love what they do, they do it because it’s fun and they enjoy it. They spread their enthusiasm in everything that they do.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Yes, I did just use the title of a well-known Zen text in a blog post about leadership. A great leader knows that they need to be flexible and open-minded. Whether that’s being open minded to new ideas, solving employee gripes, or just looking at a problem in a different way, good leaders are always striving to keep their mind open and look at things differently.
Always Ready to Improve
A great leader is always looking for ways to get better at what they do. Whether it’s writing software, leading a team, or improving their communication skills, leaders are willing to take criticism and work on improving themselves. In addition to being willing to improve, leaders are capable of self-introspection and are capable of taking criticism.
At the end of a project, our team leader took the entire team aside and we had the opportunity to go around the room and, constructively, list positive and negative traits of our team members. Initially I was terrified about this. Rick led by example in this case and started everything off on a great note and the positive attitude towards introspection, self-discovery, and improvement was phenomenal. I gained a lot both personally and professionally out of the experience.
I suppose I should now tag some other people: