Revealed: How to Be a Great Leader That Everyone Wants to Follow
They say that good leaders are born, not made. But no matter how great a leader we think we are, we can all stand to foster and improve our leadership and management skills from time to time. Here are 10 of the very best qualities that will help propel you into great leader status, all backed up by some of the most trusted leaders in business.They say that good leaders are born, not made. But no matter how great a leader we think we are, we can all stand to foster and improve our leadership and management skills from time to time. Here are 10 of the very best qualities that will help propel you into great leader status, all backed up by some of the most trusted leaders in business.
Time Is Never Wasted on Listening to Others.
“Resonance – this is one of the lowest rated qualities in leaders and one of the most needed in business today. It’s how we connect with people and make them feel understood. Resonant leaders are attentive and attuned to the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others. They take time to watch, listen and absorb what is said and unsaid.”
~ Suzanne Bates, CEO, Bates Communications1
“I find that the key to great leadership is time commitment dedicated to the people side. Business flies so fast and it is very easy to see days and weeks be absorbed by projects and deadlines, but at the end of the day, the true quality of performance and career satisfaction comes from the growth and commitment from the team. To do this effectively, leaders must meticulously review and prioritize their time. I expect all of my direct reports to map out the week tactically, strategically, while being mindful to set aside the time to foster strong relationships and company/team commitment.”
~ Shawn Bushouse, EVP, Chief Financial Officer, J Skinner Baking2
Feedback Is the Shortcut to a Better Team.
“Understand how they want to grow their careers and take time to coach them, giving ongoing feedback (BOTH positive and improvement feedback) to help them get there. This will also help inform what you delegate to whom. Know what your team members value as individuals – is it autonomy? Recognition? Collaboration? Challenge? Then do your best to provide these things.”
~ Rebecca Zucker, Partner, Next Step Partners3
No One’s Left Behind. Involvement Is Indiscriminate.
“I had a great mentor in my first manager, who showed me that it’s not only alright to share your thought processes and mistakes, but that this is key to building a successful team. There are so many choices to be made when you’re building a business and, by sharing your approach with co-workers, you’re empowering them to more clearly understand your company vision and develop their own skills.”
~ Rashmi Melgiri, COO and Co-Founder, CoverWallet4
“I have a staff retreat every year off site with my staff, where we work on our goals for the next year. We mix the day up with fun stuff and serious stuff. After the retreat, the staff creates a chart to track our goals on a weekly basis and they update it. Then throughout the year, I meet with each staff member individually and talk about how we are doing. I try to make at least one of those meetings a casual lunch meeting.”
~ Edrie A. Pfeiffer, Managing Attorney, Hampton Roads Legal Services5
Always Be Gracious And Grateful.
“Say please and thank you – a lot, and authentically. Teams that are appreciated outperform those that don’t by incredible margins. Just saying please and thank you goes a long way to helping your team understand you appreciate them.”
~ Lee Caraher, Author6
Interactivity Is the Key to Bringing Everyone Together.
“Great leaders are great communicators. Communication should be a two way process: you should be able to relay clear instructions to your team but also listen attentively and responsively to all that they say.”
~Helen Smith, Community Manager, Mature Berkshire Dating7
“Interactivity – this is the art of fostering a deeply active, conversational style of dialogue that puts people at ease and enables them to speak up and feel heard. You have to use the right channels, communicate with the right cadence and frequency, and of course not rely too much on written communication.”
~ Suzanne Bates, CEO, Bates Communications8
Power Is Shared Among Everyone, Not on a Single Person.
“I feel empowerment and encouragement goes a long way, making team members feel their value to the overall mission of the team and it’s continued success. By empowering our team members and trusting them, we see our team members rise to the occasion, elevate themselves, and feel pride in what they’re achieving on a daily basis.”
~ Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO, RyTech, LLC9
There Is Always Wise Words from Others.
“Being the leader doesn’t always mean that you’re the authority, and that’s coming from an owner of a company. There are instances where details are missed out. I always make it an effort to give every member within my team a chance to speak up during our internal meetings. I’d like to believe that they appreciate having the opportunity to pitch and implement their ideas and approaches for our clients. It builds a strong foundation of mutual trust and respect, and when there’s trust in any given relationship, they will have no qualms about following you into the abyss.”
~ Aaron Lin, Managing Director, Ignitive10
With a Clear Aim, No One Goes Astray.
“In order to form your team into a united front working together towards a common goal, it’s important that the team understands your vision as the team leader. By having the ability to inspire your team, you are giving them a better understanding of why they’re doing what they’re doing. You’re giving them a sense of purpose, a clear motivation to strive for success. This inspiration will help you work better together as you are all aware and on board with the vision.”
~ Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO, SD Equity Partners11
Responsibility Delegation Is the Way to Unleash the Team’s Full Potential.
“Many bosses have a “I’ll just do it myself” mentality. Just because you’re a boss does not mean you’re a leader. By taking on all the work, you’re preventing your team from demonstrating their true potential. A great leader trusts in their team and demonstrates this trust by giving their team more responsibility. When you give your team members an opportunity to excel, more often than not you will be surprised at what they can achieve. Trust in your team, and they will succeed.”
~ Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO, SD Equity Partners12
Feedback Builds Trust and Enables Continuous Improvement.
“Often times this feedback comes from others through reviews – I still ask all of my people for feedback. Being open and honest builds trust within a team, helps me improve and makes real our promise that we all seek continuous improvement.”
~Dick Burke, CEO, Envoy Global13
Being Respectful Isn’t Just An Etiquette.
“Something to always remember is to always talk respectfully about members of your team, whether they are present in the room with you or not. Be transparent at all times and do not go behind people’s backs. This will ensure that all members of the team feel safe and happy about working in the team.”
~ Jason Dobson, Berkshire Dating14
Now you are ready to lead your team with trust, confidence, strength and compassion. A great leader has a mix of qualities; they are not superhuman, but rather people who are able to connect with members of their teams on a compassionate and human level, whilst also maintaining discipline and authority at all times.
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