There has never been a better time for leaders to show their colours. Many businesses could be very much more successful than they currently are if leadership was more visible in every situation.
Ask most managers and they will insist that they show good leadership skills. But ask them what makes up those skills and how they are demonstrated, and their answers actually show they are sadly lacking in the knowledge required to improve business opportunities through actions that build on leadership authority.
Becoming an effective and successful leader will require you to embody certain qualities that your team can follow and aspire to. These qualities can be learned and developed over time, so the first place to start is to understand what the top 10 qualities of great leaders are. Learn More
Many ‘managers’ have wondered if there is a real difference between the two, that is, aren’t the terms synonymous these days, and isn’t it just a case of semantics?
Well, let’s take a look back and identify where the words actually came from… Learn More
I was asked an interesting question via email this week that made me stop and think. The question was, What leadership qualities are most needed in today’s time of great change?
I believe leaders play a vital role in each and every business today, and no business can afford to carry passengers. So, I believe the top characteristics that a leader must have are: the ability to recognise and develop employees’ talents, the know-how to make teams work and the ability to communicate at every level within the organisation.
Phew, quite a lot for the leader to do, then! Here are my ideas for a great leader
1. Good communication is the key for developing good business relationships. If he can’t establish a good business working relationship, he is not going to be that leader, that team player. He will not be able to communicate how the teams can add long-term value to the company. The modern leaders must therefore be equipped with good communication skill and use new ways to effectively communicate
2. Honesty The most valuable asset of a leader is honesty. He must be honest with his employees, suppliers, customers and stakeholders. If not, the integrity that leaders need will be undermined.
Leadership qualities are different for different positions. For a Chief Executive , stabilising and running the business today is vital, but so is looking to the future .He has to be able to look beyond where we are today, know where the business is going, and be able to use that vision to move the company forward. We pay a lot for those skills.
4. Action speaks louder than words
What a manager and leader does will speak louder than what they say. If the words and actions don’t match, the people will believe the actions. It’s vital that all the team understand the value of the leader’s example.
5. Ability to motivate people around
A good leader must always keep motivating his team mates for good work and should maintain a healthy environment. That environment must be seen by others as motivational and accurately reflect the direction they all need to go.
Without consistency, people will not know where they stand. Have integrity and variety in what you do, but have the values that are driven by positivity. People will look to you as an example, and your consistent approach will do wonders to get people on your side.
You may or may not agree with those ideas, and I’d like to hear your views. I’m sure we could between us write a book on leaders’ qualities, but one thing is sure…the way we lead businesses today is vastly different to how we lead 10 or more years ago.
Leadership is one of those qualities we all know we need to develop but wonder how we can apply it every day at work.
According to Vadim Kotelnikov, who carried out a survey on leadership roles, there are a number of main qualities that people look for in their leaders, and I’ve listed them below:
Competence in the Job
Now, in what order do you think Kotelnikov’s survey placed these, in order of importance to people working for them?
Many people would assume that all five are very important, which, naturally, they are. But his survey showed there was a definite leaning towards certain attributes above others.
Top of the list was having a vision. Especially in these trying times, vision is a key attribute followers want from their leaders in business. Vision is a short and inspiring statement of what your organisation intends to become and achieve in the near future. It provides purpose and motivation to all who buy into it. It’s inspiring when someone who you look up to creates a vision that you want to aim for and can have confidence in realising.
Next on the list was Energising others. How would a leader do that? By setting the example and living the ethics of integrity and honesty. People will follow that kind of leader wherever he takes them, and it doesn’t matter what position the leader is in the company: character says more about a person than anything else, because that is where results come from.
Third in the survey was great Communication. It’s simply not possible for a leader to inspire others unless their communication skills are honed and tested. People follow the example of leadership, so by communicating effectively with all stakeholders in a business, a leader shows their abilities in all areas.
Next came Competence, closely followed by Charisma. The survey shows that the soft skills are of more importance than the actual ability to do the job. It follows that Charisma, although a desirable trait for a great leader, is something that is not an absolute necessity in order to be effective. People don’t need passionate, inspiring speeches to motivate them; it’s more about how leaders get the best out of their people through intrinsic motivation.
So when you are wondering about how to get the best out of your people in the future, remember this survey and consider how you have communicated your vision for your team so that you energise them effectively. That way, you have covered the top three qualities that people are looking for from their team leaders.
Some leaders are born, while others are created. It’s often difficult, especially as a manager, to convince others to follow in our footsteps, but it is possible. Whether you’re a natural born leader or not, the following qualities can and should be nurtured in order to enhance your leadership abilities.
Do you have a vision and are you able to share that vision with your team? Having a vision means you know what path you want to take in order to achieve optimal end results. Your communication skills must be strong enough to effectively convince your followers that your path is the right choice given the current situation.
Are you really dedicated to your work? Are you willing, if necessary, to spend extra long hours at the office to get the job done? Your dedication will inspire your team members to share the same level of enthusiasm.
Humility means being able to recognize that you are no better off than anyone else on your team, regardless of your salary or job title. You’re all human and you all make mistakes. Your job status doesn’t exempt you from error.
A good leader needs to be able to make fair decisions regardless of how he or she may feel personally about a given situation. Fairness means looking at the facts, not each team member’s personal opinions about them, and then making an educated decision.
Let’s face it – laughter is the best medicine. People are happy when they are laughing, and laughter eases tension and increases productivity (in moderation, of course). Those stuck in a boring or hostile workplace won’t accomplish much. Put your sense of humor to work and keep the entire team happy.
These are, of course, only a few leadership qualities you should keep in mind but they offer you an excellent place to start. Take a look at your day to day interactions with your team and determine whether or not you need to tweak your leadership style. Good luck!