Being a leader, not just an achiever

16 min Source: Richard Rierson


Leadership is not just about achieving outcomes, it's about using interpersonal skills to motivate others to take the journey with you.


Effective leadership should be a selfless enterprise. Leaders are selected from high achievers, but that’s a conundrum as there is a difference between being an achiever and a leader. Achievement is not to be discounted and we should push ourselves if we are going to continually contribute to capability. Richard Rierson, author and leadership expert, warns that we can’t let talent and achievement overshadow the importance of leadership. He argues that the higher we go in our career and the more we tend to push ourselves, it will be our interpersonal and behavioural aspects that will determine one's leadership success. Rierson poignantly states that when you are a leader it’s never about you, your focus is on others. Rierson outlines some strategies for making the leadership transition and proposes some additional resources to help leaders. Can you picture past leaders whose drive for achievement curtailed their leadership effectiveness? What advice would you give them now?