Creating that “x factor” leader

Great leaders all have that “x-factor”. In a workshop for Victoria University I looked at what makes the style of an “x-factor” leader.

What is this x-factor in leadership?

Mastery of self: “to thine own self be true”. X-factor leaders are genuine and know who they are. They have high emotional intelligence, they know their own strengths and weaknesses and use these to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of others and they have integrity. What are your unique strengths and talents? What situations do you thrive in? What do you stand for and would you not compromise on?

Empowering other people: X-factor leaders not only know themselves they are “good-finders” – they can see the good in others and draw it out in every situation. They encourage and help people to unlock their talents and strengths and create the environment where these can be used to maximum effect. Think of a leader who believed in you and helped you discover your strengths – how did they do this for you?.

Having a clear vision: a relevant inspiring future: People follow a purpose, not a plan. It is human nature to want to make a difference in the world and follow a plan that is inspiring. The x-factor leader sees the bigger picture and can see the impact that this will have on the wider organisation. Every day we are given stones but what do we build? Do they just stay stones or do we build a castle?

Effective communication: X factor leaders not only have the vision but they know how to transfer it to others. They put it in language that appeals and is relevant to those they are speaking to. They listen first to understand and then put their message across. What are the key components of effective communication that you would like to develop? It may be speaking with confidence, presentation skills or simply being able to speak to people one on one. The great thing is that these skills can be developed.

Credibility: “To be rather than to seem”. It comes through what people do, not what people say. Can you think of an example where you had a leader that would say one thing yet do another? Relevant experience is a key component to credibility, hence a key component to x-factor leadership is being able to take the gold nuggets from your experiences and tranfer them to multiple situations.

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