Why do some individuals oversee seemingly less stressful terms of office, while others appear to be consistently challenged, and everything seems problematic and challenging? Why do two different individuals (who often appear to be somewhat similarly qualified and capable) often arrive at solutions or approaches that are so dissimilar? While one leader sees problems and dangers around every corner, and focus on avoiding a problem, the greatest leaders are invariably those that identify obstacles and challenges, but instead of focusing on potential danger, proceed in a solution-oriented approach. While many factors impact how and why these differences exist, I feel it might be useful to review how the greatest leaders consistently avert DANGER.

1. Desirable; master own destiny; draw an appealing picture:

If you don’t understand both why and how things are preferred or desirable, how will you be able to feel personally comfortable in any specific course of action? Great leaders train, learn, gain knowledge, develop judgment and wisdom, and carefully and thoroughly plan. When you are prepared, and have created contingencies, it permits you to tweak your approach, and proceed seamlessly when things don’t go as you planned via your Plan A. Don’t complain about how unfair things are, or that it was fate, but rather become the master of your own destiny! Draw yourself a positive, appealing picture of what will occur, when (not if) your plan succeeds.

2. Articulate challenges and plans; assess and analyze:

Don’t fool yourself into a false sense of confidence, but rather, develop the skill and ability to thoroughly assess and analyze needs, priorities, and the best way to proceed. Then, confidently and transparently articulate your ideas to those you serve!

3. Needs-centric; avoid nonsense:

Can you manage your time and efforts, to emphasize priorities and minimize more trivial (or less essential) matters? Don’t sweat the petty stuff! It is often dangerous for someone in a leadership position, to focus on needs and concerns (the more important issues), and to avoid getting absorbed or trapped by nonsense, which wastes time and saps energy.

4. Generate goodwill; seek greatness:

When others see that their leader consistently seeks a great solution, rather than merely settling for good-enough, it motivates them to pay more attention to the vital, vibrant vision, and the important mission of an organization. Remember that someone is always watching, so always behave in a goodwill-generating manner, which draws people positively towards you!

5. Earn respect; empathize; lead by example:

True leaders must become the safety net, that their constituents look to, and depend upon, during challenging scenarios, and doing so, will automatically earn their respect, admiration and cooperation. A true leader serves others, and does so, by leading by example, rather than letting others assume the lead. Those who transform potential dangers to mere challenges and/or obstacles, invariably enhance their group’s potential.

6. Relevant; reliable; real; reach them (make a quality connection):

Prepare for eventualities by seeking solutions that best relate to making the group stronger and better! If you lead, understand that others rely on you, to become their safe harbor, and to keep them pursuing the best, sustainable solution. However, you must also realize that you’ll never be able to get others to become more positive and confident, unless you make every effort to get through to them, on a transparent, consistent basis.

Will you make others feel safer, or will your approach keep them worried about DANGER? A great leader largely averts these situations, by a combination of attitude, planning, confidence and proactivity.

Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years. Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website: http://plan2lead.net.