Companies that sustain a culture of leadership among its people and business will always succeed. The top management’s job in today’s professional organizations is to unleash the energy, creativity, and drive of its people and put them in a position to make confident and correct judgments and strategies. It’s leading the leaders. Imagine what an organization with hundreds of leaders, each self-driven, result oriented and supremely confident, can be.

In an organization you need to create a culture where people do the right thing, simply because it’s the right thing to do. You need to create a leadership culture based on values and principles, instill a sprit of integrity and cultivate creativity and forward thinking. Build trust with your leaders “walking the walk” and leading by example. Denis Nelly, Chairman and Senior Partner of Price Waterhouse Coopers, USA, suggests five steps for you and your organization to lead your leaders to a better future. Consider taking these steps and see the results:

  1. Encourage involvement and participation of your people. Encourage divergent thinking and an open dialogue on finding solutions with different perspectives.

  2. Encourage honest feedback and learn to accept being challenged with views from your people. Listen to your leaders you lead. Listen to what they are “not” saying in particular.

  3. Encourage your people to imagine and dream, think long-term. Even if that means trying things that don’t work first time. Support ideas that may not necessarily produce results in the short-term, but do so in the long run.

  4. Give your people a vision of what is expected and what they can achieve. Give them freedom to achieve in their own way. Push them out of their comfort zone, and let them risk and experiment within means.

  5. Spend time with your people, and encourage them to spend time with others. Let them see how you think and how others feel. Let them feel connected to you, among themselves, and the strategies and goals of the organization.

As a leader you need to set the beat and prime everyone to be ready for what lies ahead. Create a unique position where you empower and do not apply to the ultimate act of choice. Define the trade-offs and make choices. Michael Porter calls this “structuring co-relation between great strategies and strong leaders”. Best leaders are teachers of strategy, and they go out to employees, suppliers, and customers telling them what they (and the organization) stand for until everyone understands it. So if you have a good strategy, people are fired up about bringing something new to the organization – with a competitive advantage.

Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than just what the science of management says is possible. Good leaders surround themselves with people who complement your and others skills. Leadership is about motivating people – getting 110 percent out of your relationships. An honest and fair assessment of your abilities enables this to happen. Leaders are trust worthy. You can give all the speeches you want, but if your people don’t see you putting your best, they won’t either.

As it is said, “If you give me the right people, good things will happen. Give me the wrong people, and then bad things will happen.”  To achieve excellence in big things, you must develop the habit of excelling even in little matters. Excellence is not an exception. It is an all prevailing attitude. Plans don’t accomplish work. Goal statements don’t accomplish work. Only people can get things done! The people in the field are closest to the situation, therefore, that is where the real wisdom lies. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision – never step on enthusiasm. Leadership is not a title, rank, privilege or money. It’s the responsibility for results – your own and your people.

The day that people stop bringing you their problems in an organization is the day you stop leading them. They either lose confidence, or they conclude that you do not care. Either case is failure of mentoring and leadership. Leaders are made not born! Most of the leadership is something you learn over time and by training yourself. Have a set of strong beliefs. Be an optimist. Engage in relentless understanding and preparation. Encourage team work. Leaders are mostly less doers, and more teachers, motivators and coaches. When you f see a great coach or trainer in any field, you can bet that five other coaches have coached him. It is also true of corporate leaders.

Leaders are said to be fire starters. You can’t light a fire with a wet match. Your employees may simply need to be inspired. One role of a leader is to provide the inspiration to be a fire starter, igniting passion and commitment in your people.

You can inspire people by: a) setting an example and demanding the attitude you seek from them; b) sincerely expressing your appreciation for their inputs and contributions; c) delivering an affirmation of their professionalism; and d) giving them an upbeat and optimistic validation by helping them see their role within the organization in the larger light. Take these four steps and you will be amazed at how many fires you can start.

Inside every person is passion waiting to be ignited, excellence ready to be released. You can be the fire to inspire some one to their very best. That’s the DNA of a successful leader everywhere in the world.