7 Attributes of Great Leaders
If you want to create inspired and motivated teams within your business who are fully behind your vision, they need to be able to look to you to lead them.
The following post is a preview chapter from an upcoming ebook on this subject by Netstar.
Here’s seven attributes that great leaders naturally have:
You may have a vision, but you need to map it out on paper/screen to really solidify it in your mind so you can clearly describe it to other people.
You need to know where the business is heading for the next 15 years. You need to know future headcount, revenue, profit, number of customers, etc. for each of the next 15 years.
It’s crucial for the leader to share the vision, so that others can get behind and work towards it.
Knowing the figures and outwardly showing that you have growth plans allows employees to see you more as the force propelling the business forward, rather than the manager doing all of the administrative work.
Great leaders have great confidence, but also great humility.
Know your weaknesses, admit mistakes and admit when you need to be improve. Being open to criticism will make you a better leader.
“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” – John Maxwell.
When you have a big win or meet a challenge, deflect any praise from yourself and onto the team. Hold a celebratory event and ask people “how did you do it?” Make them see themselves as a success.
Seek out feedback on your own work. Find out what your employees think and focus on their needs.
Hold weekly 1-2-1 meetings with all employees who report to you. These meetings are to talk about any concerns or needs the employee might have, and also their career plans and development.
This shows you are invested in the happiness, motivation and development of your employees.
Great leaders understand and manage their emotions.
Inner-calm and outer resolve comes down to self-control. Losing your temper easily shows that you’re not in control, makes you less approachable, and damages your employees’ faith in your abilities.
Be aware of your weaknesses and surround yourself with people who balance them out. If you’re not someone who enjoys statistical analysis and detail, make sure you hire people in key positions who do. If you like to make snap decisions, hire people who analyse all the options before they decide what to do.
Do personality tests on everyone in your organisation, and all new hires. The Colour Works provide excellent tests which give you reports that will astonish you with their accuracy. Most importantly, these reports contain tips on how different personality types should work and communicate with each other.
Profiling yourself will help you to see where your weaknesses lie, and doing this for your employees will show you where your business is strong and where it is weak. This should dictate organisational structure and hiring plans.
Leaders have an obligation to adhere to strong moral principles. Having strong values, beliefs and ethics allows others to clearly identify with you.
If you want others to hold to the values of the company then you must show integrity to your own values every day.
“If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they aren’t values. They’re hobbies.”
You’ve set and communicated a 15 year goal for the business with the intention of getting everyone along for the ride. You must be bold and stand by your ideas if you want anyone else to care in a month, 6 months, 2 years, etc.
Continual reinforcement of your commitment is important. Remind everyone of the journey you are all on and show how you’re still working towards it. If people think you don’t follow through on your plans, they won’t believe you have the drive to take the company (and them) anywhere.
You won’t be able to do it alone. You’ll need to place trust in key people and show loyalty by nurturing them to become leaders too.
Leaders must be able to communicate clearly and with passion in order to inspire, motivate and achieve results from people. Having more personal and engaging conversations with people leads to better results from teams.
Communication of goals, vision and plans is important to ensure your employees understand that you’re committed to taking them somewhere.
Great communicators have empathy, can read between lines, and maintain an open mind. They can make complex tasks seem simple, and are able to effectively communicate messages to many people at once.
Communication includes listening too (and picking up on body language signals). This is important because it will allow you to spot disengagement, disharmonies and de-motivation.
Leaders help others to succeed by placing trust in them. They encourage people to take more responsibility, and nurture them to become leaders too.
Personal and professional development of your key people should be high on the agenda. Don’t treat your people as commodities; there just to show up, do a job then go home. Invest in futures and encourage development within your teams.
Nurture people to become better and they’ll reward you with loyalty. They’ll take on greater responsibility, and likely have more enthusiasm for the job than anyone you could have brought in above them.
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