How to become an extraordinary leader

Extraordinary - Gold text on black background - 3D rendered stock picture.I’m fortunate that I get to work with extraordinary leaders. Most of them have been working on becoming the best for years. These leaders are of solid character and beyond the norm. Many of them are on the fast track to moving into positions of more responsibility in their organizations.

The way they got to extraordinary is extraordinary in itself. Their courage is admirable as they show a willingness to step out of the mold of ordinary leadership. They simply refuse to be a part of the pack of C-level leaders; they shoot for A+.

The results they achieve speak for themselves; motivated employees, the ability to attract the best, and bottom-line results. How do they do it?  Here are some thoughts on you might become an extraordinary leader:

Be people-centric. Put people first and trust that the business results will follow. Take the time to create solid relationships with others, while making an effort to know them personally. Finally, you will make great progress when you meet with your team and other stakeholders on a regular basis with an agenda of “How can I help you?” to assure that you are in good standing with the people who matter.

Work on yourself. You are the instrument of your leadership, just like a violin is the instrument of violinists. It takes hard work and practice. Take care of your instrument by doing what it takes to stay mentally and physically healthy. When you become a better listener, team member, employee, and person all of your efforts will carry over into your leadership.

Never rest on your accomplishments. Continue to seek out the next challenge. This is not about “climbing the corporate ladder”; but more about having the drive and desire to take on things that are organizationally beneficial and personally challenging. You will need to conquer your fear, critical inner voices, and sabotaging behaviors to get done what needs to be done.

Remain humble. Get to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. It’s important for you to be vigilant of both, since weaknesses can be ignored and strengths can become weaknesses if they’re overused. Continually do your best to stay aware of how others perceive you, since their perceptions are their reality. Ask for feedback on “How am I doing?” frequently.

Extraordinary leaders are intentional about their relationships, the personal work they need to do, taking on challenges, and staying humble. When I think about that list, I know I’d like become such a leader. How about you?

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.