what makes a good leader?
What Makes A Good Leader
You’ve probably heard the phrase Follow good leaders and you will never go wrong, but what exactly makes a good leader? There are certain characteristics that all good leaders share, including the ability to inspire confidence in those they lead and the ability to use their skills and knowledge to motivate those around them. However, being able to do these things alone doesn’t make someone a good leader; rather, they must be combined with other leadership traits that ensure success in business and other aspects of life.
Traits of a Great Leader
1. They have a vision. It’s been said that, it’s not what you see, but what you don’t see that matters. This is particularly true of vision and leadership. Great leaders have an ability to see past their organization’s limitations (both real and perceived) to set goals that appear impossible at first glance. 2. They’re an active listener. When one thinks of great leaders, they think of dynamic speakers who command attention with their messages; but it takes two ears to make a conversation go both ways—and in order for true listening to occur in any relationship, it must be one-sided . Great leaders are great listeners because they value people over production . 3. They build trust. Trust has many definitions and reasons , but at its core, it’s all about going beyond rhetoric to prove something exists based on evidence that only exists inside of relationships . If there’s no reason to believe someone will do what they say or keep your confidence, why would you entrust them with anything? Building relationships through trust means consistency between words and actions—it means following through on your commitments so others can follow through on theirs. 4. They create opportunities for others to succeed. One of my favorite mantras is Success leaves clues, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how correct those four words are time and again. There are few things more demoralizing than watching someone try their best yet get nothing out of it—but once you give an individual responsibility to lead others towards success, they may discover abilities that previously went untapped. 5. They’re effective communicators.
As we’ve already established, a leader is someone who empowers others and inspires them to achieve great things. But more than that, a good leader also has vision and can see opportunities where other people might not. They don’t sit around waiting for something to happen—they make it happen. This means they set goals that they know will challenge their team, while also knowing they are capable of achieving those goals if they work hard enough at it. Visionary leaders know how important it is to motivate others; their ambition pushes everyone around them to do better and be better at what they do. And although there’s nothing wrong with delegating tasks, visionary leaders still get involved because they understand every little detail is vital. In short: if you ever have an opportunity to follow a great leader or manager, jump on it! A bad boss will drive you crazy in no time but a good one can turn your working life into something amazing.
Leaders who are genuine and transparent (good communicators) allow themselves to be vulnerable and expose their own flaws. They encourage open communication by making their employees feel comfortable bringing up issues or concerns to them. This allows for better collaboration and teamwork, which means those around you will have more respect for you as a leader. It also means they’ll trust that you’re telling them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. Fostering an environment where people can genuinely confide in each other is something every company needs—whether it’s explicitly stated or not. Empathy: By taking others into account, leaders set aside their personal goals to ensure team members are achieving theirs. To do so, it helps if you ask your workers about how they see your vision coming together; these social questions tend to reveal perspectives on projects (and results) different from your own and help highlight areas of improvement. On top of being a much-needed boost of confidence for everyone involved in projects; asking these types of questions helps avoid miscommunication and keeps people happy because no one feels like an outcast with her ideas never heard.
Individuals in leadership positions are naturally perceived as authority figures, so it’s important to be friendly and approachable. This allows those you lead to come to you for counsel, help, and advice when they need it. This is a double-edged sword: being too cold or aloof can alienate your employees and make them feel like they can’t approach you with their problems. On top of that, research shows that warm personalities are more likely to be successful leaders than individuals who lack empathy. For example, one study found that people tended to follow cool-headed leaders out of fear but were drawn to warmer personalities because they felt comforted by them. In addition, experts have long said that establishing trust is key to effective leadership—but showing trust has never been particularly helpful advice on its own. It’s now clear why: warmth leads others to believe we’re trustworthy…and then leads us right back around again into our most natural state—authenticity.
For most people, leadership is about getting others to do what you want them to do. But for good leaders, leadership is about helping others get what they want. Humility makes it easier for a leader to understand and serve his or her employees by focusing on their needs rather than his or her own. If a leader can learn how to see things from other perspectives, he will become better at recognizing where each of his employees should be focusing his attention and energy instead of simply telling him where that should be. That’s why humility is such an important quality in any effective organizational culture. A great example of someone who embodies (the idea) is Satya Nadella: When Satya took over as CEO of Microsoft after Steve Ballmer resigned in 2014, some assumed that he would overhaul Microsoft’s antiquated organizational structure. Instead, Satya did something much more humble: He asked Microsoft’s employees what they needed out of their jobs so he could improve as a leader.
This is one of your most important traits as a leader. Competence doesn’t just mean that you can perform well on tasks assigned to you; it means that people will trust your judgment and feel confident following your lead. If an employee sees that you’re well-versed in what they do, they’ll likely follow your lead when put in a tough spot. Develop competence by being aware of what everyone else on your team does, paying attention during training sessions and offering to help others with their work when needed. Once others see how invested you are in their success, they’ll be more inclined to follow you.
It seems like a basic skill, but self-control is an essential attribute of good leadership. When you’re managing people, they’re watching how you handle your responsibilities. If they think you can be impulsive or unorganized, they’ll assume it must be OK for them to do that too—no matter what kind of work they do. But if you take care of details, keep yourself on task and are an overall well-controlled person, your team will want to follow your example.
Follows through on commitments
It’s pretty simple: if you commit to doing something, it needs to get done. That may sound obvious, but for leaders who have a lot on their plates, it can be all too easy to lose sight of what is and isn’t important and let things slip through the cracks. Every leader who aims to maintain a strong organizational culture of follow-through should ask themselves every time they agree to do something: Do I have time in my schedule? Will completing X impact another priority that I have? If there is any doubt in your mind about whether or not you can commit, it’s best not to agree.
There are some common myths that surround great leaders and what makes them successful. Here are a few of them: They’re always nice; Great leaders are inspiring; You need charisma to be a good leader. While these qualities may seem necessary for leadership, it’s important to note that they’re actually not crucial. There’s no one-size-fits-all mold for what makes a good leader – there are so many different types of leaders, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The same goes for your workplace culture (or Organizational Culture, as some people call it). There is no single best way to go about creating an organizational culture – they vary widely based on your company’s mission, values, and strategic goals.
To make a good leader, they need to be a good team builder. The ability to create and foster a positive team environment is an important part of any manager’s skill set. In order to build a good team, you first have to identify who works well together and with whom you might have some conflict. Then you can assess what type of leader each person will follow – for example, some people prefer direct leadership whereas others may respond better to being given room for freedom. Whatever style your employees will respond best to will differ from person-to-person so it is important that you understand how your people work as individuals and then use that knowledge when trying to build teams within your company.
Communicates well with stakeholders
The most important thing about being a good leader is to have good communication skills. Organizational culture plays a big role in how your team communicates and that’s not just with internal teams, but how you talk to your stakeholders. If you can’t properly communicate what you need and why, then things won’t run as smoothly as they could. Don’t forget to take some time to listen as well – in many cases you may already know the answer or part of it and by taking some time to understand where they are coming from can help you shape those answers into something that works for everyone involved.
How do you lead?