The three directions to become a great leader

To become better leaders, aspiring managers need to look above, across, and even below themselves in the organisation.
By: | May 10, 2023

Becoming a good leader is not the result of expensive leadership training exercises, as opined by Gregory P. Crawford, President of Miami University of Ohio. Instead, it relies on a simple strategy that involves a complementary 360-degree strategy, writes Crawford in Forbes

In an article titled Leading By Looking Around: How To Grow As The Leader Your Organisation Needs, Crawford pointed out a few ways to become a good leader and whom to look to. He further identified three directions a leader had to look at to become better: looking to the top, looking laterally, and looking to the base.

Looking to the top, Crawford explained, includes looking to your leaders, or people who are above in the management. “Study how they lead,” he wrote, asking readers to identify specific elements that could be incorporated and emulated into their own leadership, such as ways to resolve conflict and encourage success, while also looking at how their actions can be improved.
Looking laterally involves observing and engaging with other leaders in the same position who may face similar leadership demands, and many concerns are shared. “Observing and engaging peers in your organisation can provide a more holistic understanding as you move to more complex roles,” Crawford wrote.

READ: The three key traits to effective leadership

Lastly, looking to the base refers to examining the organisation chart to identify emerging leaders who may be on the verge of success. In fact, Crawford described this group as “a significant, often untapped source of leadership education.” They exercise successful leadership in their departments or teams partly because they have close, regular contact with people and solve problems daily.