Some sit and pontificate about whether leaders are made or born. The true leader ignores such arguments and instead concentrates on developing the leadership qualities necessary for success. Here we have identified top 7 qualities that make a great leader.
This is non-negotiable. People want to follow an honest leader. Years ago, many employees started out by assuming that their leadership was honest simply because of the authority of their position. In order to be seen as an honest individual, you will have to go out of your way to display honesty. People will not assume you are honest simply because you have never been caught lying. Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.
Ability to Delegate
Creating the vision and charting the mission are all fine. But if you don’t learn to trust your team with that vision, you might never take off to the next stage. Remember that trusting your team with your idea is a sure sign of strength, not weakness. Never underestimate the power of delegating tasks. The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and cashing in on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Assign tasks that they most enjoy doing. They are most likely to put more thought and effort into it. Also, if you have a picture of what a successful outcome or output will look like, share your picture with the team.
It’s impossible to become a great business leader without being a great communicator—not a big talker, but a great communicator—as well. Strong leaders are great communicators – not “big talkers”. They are known for their skilled communication with employees, vendors, investors and clients. With your team, being able to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you will be working at cross-purpose with them.
Sense of Humor
Tasteful humor is a key to success at work. When the chips are down, it’s your job as the team leader to instill a positive energy. That’s where your sense of humor will come into play. Encourage your team to laugh at the mistakes instead of shedding tears. Try to find the bright spots in a bleak situation. Make it a point to come up with jokes — tasteful though — with your team. Also encourage discussions of weekend plans and personal visits.
Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. At the end of the day, leadership is about having the confidence to make decisions. Never hit the panic button when the going gets tough. As a leader, it’s your job to put out the fires and maintain the team morale. Never walk around with a long face. Exude confidence and let it get transferred.
Commitment separates doers from dreamers. Commitment will keep us going in the face of adversity and challenges at work. If you expect your team to work smart and produce results, you need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss in the trenches getting his hands dirty.
Ability to Inspire
Inspiration is in short supply in the corporate world these days. The ability to inspire, energize and to positively influence your team is very important when it has been found that a lot many employees are not exactly ‘engaged’. Ignite your enthusiasm. You cannot inspire unless you’re inspired yourself. Passion is everything. Make your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the company. It is your job to keep the morale high. The first step to that is to appreciate the hard work your team does.