For some, leadership comes as second nature, while others struggle to maintain the ability to successfully lead a team. Either way, what comes with leadership is a sense of authority and respect. Regardless, becoming a leader or maintaining your leadership involves a great deal of consistent effort. If you are able to remember the following qualities and skills, you are halfway there. To come full circle, work to practice implementing the following qualities to improve and build upon your skill set.
The one thing that all great leaders have in common is purpose. All excellent leaders have a clearly defined purpose, where average leaders simply show up to work. Purpose works to develop passion and work ethic. With a true passion and great work ethic, their work becomes enjoyable. In order for your to lead your team, you must advocate for a common purpose, shared values and vision. Purpose drives profit, and great leaders understand this. Leaders driven by profit find that this mentality or motivator will not sustain your success.
Also make sure to put the people first, which is something forgotten by poor leaders. In order to be a leader, you need people. If you work to earn their trust, treat them with respect and loyalty, you will be able to lead your team to great success. Make sure you are encouraging creativity and building leadership in your team as well, because a successful and powerful company thrives on strong leadership among each and every one of its employees.
Great leaders also have a sense of awareness, including being organizationally aware, culturally aware, emotionally aware, and self aware. Value is placed upon listening, engaging, observing, and learning. Remain sensitive and value humility; leaders who come across as know-it-alls easily earn disrespect and their credibility steadily decreases. Remain open to new and different ideas, be willing to allow your positions and opinions to be challenged, as it is a great sign of strength. Leaders who refuse to hear differing opinions and opportunities do not grow or develop any further.
Work to eliminate complexity, not become consumed in it. Complexity hinders innovation, development and progress. We do indeed live in a rather complex world, but great leaders understand opportunity and work to simplify complexity.
Today there is a great deal of concentration of differentiating “personal” from “business,” but it is important to get personal when it comes to engaging and checking in with your team. Poor leaders are rather distant and unaware, but great leaders check in and care for their people. The best leaders are seen as great human beings and know it’s not a weakness to get personal and show empathy, kindness and compassion – it is quite the opposite. Treat your team like your life depends on their happiness and success, because it truly does.