by Milos Minic-LinkedIn

Last week I had a re-union dinner with my former team. We met in a small Swiss-Italian restaurant. The place was quiet, except for the laughter coming from our table and the distant sounds of drums, announcing the Basel Carnival season. While we remembered the past times, they tempted me into writing about leadership.

The following isn’t coming from what I’ve learned from business books, elite business school lecturers and corporate courses. Nothing teaches like experience, so this is what I’ve learned as someone who was led (and often inspired) by ordinary people – some great leaders, who left invaluable marks on me and helped me to become the leader I am today. I am talking about my teachers, professors, army officers, football & basketball coaches and my former managers. I am also reflecting on my own experiences as a leader myself, who has been leading people, functions and projects.

So, here are some tips to consider when upping the leadership game. This is by no means a full list of learnings or “pearls of wisdom” – just my 2¢:

1. Deliver results! This is imperative for your success as a leader.
2. Be aware of the situation (including self-awareness): your team, peers, management, organization’s culture and a wider business context.
3. As a leader, your success depends on your team; your failure is down to you.

* Don’t forget that you are part of your team
* Develop meaningful, inspiring and clear vision; empower your team to have a voice and to contribute to that vision
* Be clear about your values and expectations – make sure that you are heard and understood
* Be authentic (don’t fake it). Inspire hope in your team members.
* Be straightforward but fair. Create the culture of trust and positivity, and help each other. Trust & loyalty are hard to earn.
* Don’t be the smartest person in the room – a little humility goes a long way
* Learn what’s important to your team members and their careers – and follow through
Success is the result of trying. Reward not only the results, but also trying hard (take a look at this clip).
* When hiring, hire wisely – choose the best person for the job (with the right mind-set, personal qualities and skills). Spot the well-spoken, smartly-disguised frauds –
hiring them will cost you dearly.
* Be emotionally aware. Business is ultimately about relationships between people. To make these relationships work, you need to have the capacity to control and express
your emotions. You need to be sensitive to different points of views and different backgrounds. Be inclusive beyond the obvious: respect, accept and nourish individuality
in mind-sets, approaches, work styles (within compliance boundaries).
* Be thoughtful when making decisions – but act decisively
* Celebrate success
* Listen, listen and listen some more

4. Be transparent and pro-active with your management – but stand your ground firm

5. Be better (in all of the above)! Never stop improving!

… and finally, stay grounded, don’t be a jerk and don’t take yourself too seriously!

Let me end up with a quote: “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” (Farrah Gray)

What are your thoughts?

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