Garden Variety vs. Superstar Leaders
Superstar leaders do, think, and say things much differently than garden variety leaders who head up most companies today. Rather than just running an organization and finding any way out when problems and challenges arise, the Superstar Leader focuses on inspiring the organization and finding the right way out of any issues that arise. Superstar Leaders make changes they should, while other leaders do it because they must. Even then, not all garden variety leaders make the necessary changes or execute needed modifications effectively.
Superstar Leadership extends far beyond the job description. This caliber of leadership involves inspiration, imagination, and expectations of excellence at every level of the organization. Everyone can see what exists, but there are not many leaders who can actually envision and foresee what cannot be seen but is in the realm of possibility—both opportunities and threats. Rather than focusing on the “low hanging fruit,” the Superstar Leader continues to raise the bar higher and picks the whole tree when opportunity presents.
Luckily, it is possible change from a garden variety leader into Superstar Leader. Knowing and implementing just four secrets can make a difference in leadership style—a difference that has an organization-wide impact.
Secret #1: Be a LEADER First!
The first person you need to lead is actually yourself before you lead anyone else. It means becoming everything you want your team to be in terms of their attitudes, behaviors, motivations and actions. Although it sounds pretty easy to do – after all, you should be able to do everything your team can do and even better – but there are so many garden variety leaders out there that could not lead people out of the simplest places or situations. This is because they do not have the same qualities that they are expecting from everyone else.
The fact is that leadership – and more specifically, Superstar Leadership – is just not for everyone. There are many aspects of being a Super Leader that are not glamorous and are definitely challenging. Ask yourself if you could handle the job description of a Super Leader:
• Loneliness and isolation
• Monday morning quarterbacks
• Not always popular
• Often misunderstood and considered wrong
• Take the blame when things are wrong and give the credit to the team when things are right
Being a leader first also involves being the type of leader that people want to follow. These include hope doctors, faith peddlers, and dream dealers. All of these types of leaders involve some type of emotional connection where people see a leader who wants to do more than the ordinary. They want a leader who is charismatic, brave, caring and authentic. They lift the spirits of the organization and get them to believe in something bigger than themselves. If a leader believes anything is possible and gets excited about the opportunities they envision, everyone else will feel that and be motivated to make it a reality.
Secret #2: The Ten Million Dollar Employee
Probably the toughest job is to even try to lead people who do not want to be led. It is definitely impossible for the garden variety leader, especially when faced with toxic employees. You know what I mean by a toxic employee: the restaurant hostess that is rude to you when you ask for a table. The front desk clerk who could care less if you ever come back to that hotel—and it shows. Toxic employees destroy businesses—and they could be destroying yours.
However, a Superstar Leader approaches employees differently. That is because a Superstar Leader builds Superstar Teams. There is no toxicity because no bad behaviors or attitudes are allowed. The Superstar Leader watches, listens, corrects and guides the team to make sure nothing bad creeps in and destroys what was designed for good. And the Superstar leader “hires glacially and fires in a nanosecond”. Toxic employees not tolerated.
The Superstar Leader takes care of the team, helping them to grow in their professional and personal development, allowing them to thrive with enhanced responsibility, and giving them the tools they need to succeed. Clear and consistent communication and interaction also serve as a way to quickly address any problems or bad attitudes.
Secret #3:The Muskateer Factor
While a Super Leader can do a lot in convincing others that they want to be led and develop a team of all-stars, it is not enough without invoking this third secret. Even with a Superstar Team, there may be times where it feels like everyone is not playing on the same team. Not everyone will be on the same page.
For example, imagine if pilots on the same plane each thought they were landing on different runways. Or, think about a team of surgeons who each thought they were doing a different operation. Clearly, the results in both situations would be disastrous. Nobody wins if the team loses because they were not on the same page.
When this happens, it is up to the Superstar Leader to make sure that those who are a few pages behind catch up and those a few pages ahead get back to the rest of the team. A Superstar Leader can sense when the team has left the same page and help to make things right again by putting the team first as well as providing clear goals and outcomes. When a Superstar Leader provides a common vision that the team can get behind, they become an uncommon – and even extraordinary – team that delivers success.
Secret #4: Paradyming
The fourth secret is to change the paradigm and shifting what is possible. A Superstar Leader develops a mission possible team where everyone is helped to imagine the reality they want to have for the organization. The Superstar Leader uses their vision, creativity, and understanding to drive what I call the “Possibilitize Factor.” That means deciding that anything can be possible so that the team can make it happen.
There have been situations where a team is losing big at half time and they have come from behind to not only win, but they also win big. The Superstar leader does not let fear or uncertainty stop the possible from happening. Instead, they guide the team forward toward the goal and inspire them to overcome all the odds to reach success.
Now that the 4 secrets of Superstar Leadership have been revealed, it is time to put them to good use and catapult your leadership effort.
About the Author
With more than three decades of management, executive, consulting and speaking experience in markets all over the world, Miller Ingenuity CEO Steve Blue is a globally regarded business growth authority who has transformed companies into industry giants and enthralled audiences with his dynamic keynotes. He may be reached at www.StevenLBlue.com.