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Three Essentials for Proactive Leaders

written by: John P. Reiling • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 9/8/2017

What does it take to be an effective leader? I learned three essentials in an “aha!” moment when someone distilled it down to the simplest terms that could be communicated in seconds. This is where the rubber meets the road!

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    Three Essentials for Proactive Leaders In my own personal experience, I had developed an idea of what leaders need to do. A leader must have a vision of where things are going. A leader needs to be able to generate support for that vision. Finally, a leader needs to be hands on, be an example and be someone who people want to follow.

    That seemed simple enough to me, until someone explained it in far fewer words and made a lot of sense immediately. He simple listed the three things a leader must do:

    • Know the way
    • Show the way
    • Go the way

    That’s it! It makes for a simple checklist. But then again that doesn’t make it easy to do!

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    What Does It Mean?

    Let’s break it down just a little bit:

    • Know the way – This is all about having that vision, knowing where you are going, having a plan. This sets you up to be a lead the way.
    • Show the way – This is about gaining support for your vision by selling others on your ideas. Your ideas can be the best, but if you cannot articulate them clearly and disseminate them to the right people through the right channels, they will never be implemented.
    • Go the way – This is where you personally get into action and into implementation mode. You don’t just have an idea, articulate it and walk away. You are sold on it, as well. So much so that you want to lead the way to make it happen.

    I love simplicity. This simple checklist will help you determine if you are ready to lead the charge and be a leader.

    Think of your situation, whether your project, position, or even with something personal. Do you know the way? Have you showed the way? Are you going the way? If the answer is no at any one of those questions, go back and do some more work until you can check that box!

Countdown to Leadership

This is a series covers four unique styles that effective leaders employ, three essentials that you must absolutely have and do to be effective as a leader, two simple things that you can do to put yourself into a position of leadership and one thing that all of the best leaders have in common.
  1. Four Styles of Leadership
  2. Three Essentials for Proactive Leaders
  3. Two Simple Actions to Become a Leader
  4. The One Essential for Genuine Leadership