Want to be a great leader? Fantastic! Great leadership is learned behavior. You can be a great leader just like any you have ever seen. Only remember to offer your team these 10 key things great leaders offer all the time.
The hallmark of a great leader is leading by example. Practice what you preach. Your actions can be a powerful source of motivation or demoralization to the team. Be mindful and let your actions send the message that you believe in your own directives. Remember teams create a work ethic that imitates their leader’s work ethic.
We all want to learn new things and grow and develop in our jobs. Great leaders know this and offer opportunities for growth and development all the time. Be the first to create and/or point out areas for growth, depending on prevailing circumstances, individual interests and skill requirements. This will not only motivate your team to apply themselves, but also ensure no one stops growing or becomes extraneous.
Great leaders create a positive and inspiring work environment and culture all the time. These leaders use their executive presence not to threaten or intimidate, but to encourage positive thinking and attitude at work. Offer this positive energy and inspiration by encouraging everyone to be themselves and freely voice their opinions and suggestions without fear of reprimand. You will earn the team’s respect and boost their overall productivity, innovation and job satisfaction this way.
Great leaders remember to offer continuous and constructive feedback all the time. Feedback shows the team the leader cares and is paying attention. It also helps build and improve other people’s strengths and abilities. Give constructive feedback continuously without resulting to personal attacks. It will earn you respect, trust and performance.
Kindness begets kindness. If you offer kindness to those you lead, they will in turn offer kindness to those they work with and serve, including clients and fellow employees. Great leaders know this and use kindness to build a healthy and productive work environment for all. Be kind and considerate to your team even when they screw up. Don’t be harsh and bashing them too much, otherwise they will hate you and their job for it.
Great leaders are patient and encourage their team to also exercise patience. They remind the team patience is a virtue because many projects will take time to develop and complete. Sometimes it will take more than 24 hours to find an answer to a single problem. Instead of being agitated and angry, let the team come together, brainstorm and agree upon reasonable solutions and time expectations. This will maintain harmony and bring sanity in the team.
Laughter is medicine to the soul. It strengthens bonds and can heal deep seated resentment in the workplace. Great leaders use both laughter and humor to defuse tension and encourage creativity. They offer moments of fun and humor all the time because these moments often make stressful and challenging situations seem less daunting. Organize fun activities for your team and let those who can crack ribs do so freely to put things into a humorous perspective. Of course, this should all be done within the boundaries of proper ethics and mutual respect.
People achieve more where there is a clear course of action characterized by order and respect. Great leaders, therefore, offer order and respect all the time. They make everyone feel valued and their skills and knowledge required for success. They extend basic courtesies like friendly greetings to everyone from the cleaning person to the top executives because they respect them. Treat everyone like an adult and don’t try to micromanage and dictate to them. Respect their personalities, judgment and knowledge and they will feel obliged to make their individual input count.
Great leaders are proud to offer support and encouragement to their team. They help whenever they can and encourage those they lead to keep moving and not give up because they genuinely care. Offer help and encouragement with a cheerful heart whenever your team is feeling down. Remind everyone why you have faith in them and why they are the best for the task, especially when you notice people are running out of energy. Just be that listening ear and helping hand your team needs.
Great leaders remember to praise and express their gratitude for the efforts others make on their behalf. They know they would not be the leader they are without the people they are privileged to lead. As a result, great leaders humbly offer gratitude and praise all the time. Praise is an acknowledgement of positive deeds. Say “thank you” even for small things like someone holding the door for you. This reinforces positive behavior and proves you appreciate. Don’t be afraid to hold the door for others, as well. Those little, thoughtful things are the marks of a truly great leader.
Featured photo credit: MDGovpics via flickr.com
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