- Daily Zen
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
What distinguishes a leader of men from the worker bees? The most important leadership qualities include integrity, organizational abilities, empathy, farsightedness and resilience. A leader should be able to inspire people to do their best in the worst of circumstances.
Leadership is not about strategy, boardrooms and conferences. It is about getting in the trenches with the workers in times of need. The best leaders are those who commit themselves fully to the mission of the company and work alongside team members toward a common goal. Here are some of the most desirable leadership qualities of a great leader.
Strong ethics from a leader convey a sense of fairness in dealing with the employees. Also communicating clearly what is expected from the employees creates a sense of trust and safety, which in turn leads to a relaxed and congenial environment where people perform better.
Do not undertake anything that makes you feel at odds with your core values. If you feel it is fundamentally wrong, then it is and set on a course correction.
Here communication also plays a part. If you give clear directions to your subordinates and colleagues and then allow them to perform under their own set schedule, then it shows trust.
Research has also shown that teams allowed to set their pace and are empowered, are more productive and proactive. No one can do all the tasks themselves, one needs to delegate and give space to perform. But this simple task is difficult for some as they turn leadership into a power game. They believe the moment you give away the power of decision making then you lose authority. A good leader knows that allowing people to self organize is to self empower both ways.
We are social beings. Interact and exchange ideas is what we do. Leaders know that keeping clear channels of communication is to have the pulse of the organization.
Communication builds a sense of belonging, of being on the journey of achievement together. In such a scenario, when goals and expectations and the processes are clearly communicated, then any small failures or delays are not blown out of proportion. There is a clear sense of why and what went wrong. Speculation is kept to a minimum.
Keeping decision-making and all executive plans as state secrets foster a sense of distrust. It encourages unpleasant behavior, which can be contagious.
Sense of belonging also means to be pleasant. Convey that you care. A leader should be knowledgeable about the people he interacts with every day. Showing some interest in them personally builds connections.
Rigidity in running a show is a formula for disaster. Innovation is the key to move ahead. A strong foundation based on organizational principles is compulsory, but this foundation needs to be nurtured by constant learning and building.
Encourage new ideas and change. Build a culture of openness where employees can discuss ambitions and expectations. If this means skill-building, encourage the concept. Promoting and nurturing from within givers greater returns rather than hiring as you need.
Discuss the problems and withhold judgment until all points of view are presented. Given an explanation of why a particular process is picked over another one. This builds trust in your ability to be fair and unbiased.
Leaders have the ability to spot talent. Once you do that, give more opportunities and openings for that talent to grow and learn. Employees are motivated to reciprocate, expressing their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. To get the best from your team, you need to bat for them. Go that extra mile and delegate important projects, support their training and promotion.
Lastly, some are born to the leadership role, and for some, it is thrust upon them, and the rest learn to lead. All three categories need to hone their skills if they want to fulfill their roles effectively. A good way to do that is to learn by example. Observe other great leaders in the role. Network with people, keep a constant dialogue going and exchange experiences. A good leader always surrounds himself with good generals and friends.
Do not be shy about attending leadership conferences and hiring mentors and coaches to help you in your task.
Being in charge is not easy, and being at the pinnacle can get lonely and isolating, seeking personal help both professionally and emotionally is par for the course. Importantly, keep physically fit. A healthy body houses a healthy mind. Being on the go 24/7 can be exhausting so take out time to relax and rejuvenate. Most great leaders carve out me-time for themselves. Constantly being on the go and making split-second decisions that affect the lives of hundreds needs agility of mind and body.
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