“Know-how and show-how versus tell-how leadership.”

Great leadership is about knowing how and showing how, not telling how. Too often, leaders are chosen on the basis of superficial traits and characteristics such as the appearance of leadership qualities and talking a good game. However, they lack the ability to deliver significant and sustainable results.

Of course intelligence, confidence, presence, communication skills and having vision are important. But, they are only one side of the coin. Having intelligence does not always indicate the ability to make wise judgments in critical situations. Framing a vision does not always indicate the ability to build and empower a team to make it happen.

As a leader, you must not only have the “know-how,” you must have the “show-how.” You must demonstrate the ability to do the right things, make the right decisions, recruit the right people and build and empower a team to deliver the promised results. However, to deliver significant and sustainable results, you must know how and show how to answer the following seven questions:

1. Can you position and reposition your business/organization by creating your core value that customers demand and still make a profit?
2. Can you pinpoint external changes by discerning patterns ahead of others that keeps your business on the offensive and ahead of the learning curve?
3. Can you evaluate people, determine true potential and recruit the best people and combine it with the emotional maturity to make faster, better decisions and deliver expected results?
4. Are you able to build a team of highly qualified and passionate individuals and inspire them to bury their egos and collaborate in a team win?
5. Do you know how to set goals based on a realistic view of present reality and an ambitious vision for the future? But, not by looking in the rearview mirror and making incremental adjustments moving forward.
6. Can you set laser-sharp priorities by defining specific tasks that align resources, actions and energy to accomplish the goals?
7. Can you deal with forces beyond the market realities and positively respond to societal pressures you do not control, but significantly impact your business or organization.

If you can’t answer these questions in the affirmative, your role as a leader will be challenging at best, or worse, overwhelming. All great leaders have a personal coach. All good leaders know they need one and all poor leaders think they can win without one.

If you are leading without a coach, I can assure you—your team wishes you had one.