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8 Signs That You’re An Amazing Leader That People Love To Work With

8 Signs That You’re An Amazing Leader That People Love To Work With

In today’s competitive market, the job of a manager is not easy. A manager and leader is responsible for recruiting, training, monitoring, engaging, motivating, anticipating, aligning, evaluating, disseminating, adjusting, predicting, guiding, reinforcing, recording, identifying, planning, and building teams. If you miss one of these responsibilities, your performance will be questioned.

A management role is not the route to power, neither is it a ticket to an easy life with minimal work. It takes lots of courage to step up to lead in any organization. But no one will follow if you’re not leading your team for the right reasons. Talent always seeks out other talent, and talented employees follow leaders who can inspire them and make them better. Here are some qualities that make you a well-liked leader who draws and develops the best talent.

1. You provide direction

Great leaders always provide clear direction by eliminating obstacles and making the path free of distractions. They streamline processes, discover resources, and keep all sorts of interruptions at bay. A great leader understands the problems and issues of employees and fixes them by putting their employees’ interests first.

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2. You groom talent

Talented employees really care about their futures, and they tend to follow a leader who can get them there. A likeable leader helps people to understand the business by showing them every part of the operation to improve their skills. Your best people want to climb. Like it or not, this job is temporary to them. Employees only perform better if the leader is keen to develop and groom them in their field.

3. You give personal attention

The best leaders always provide personal attention to their people. They are keen to mentor and train associates, knowing negligence only gives bad habits, inactivity, and disengagement. They offer regular advice on performance, knowing the best employees crave honesty and dislike sugarcoating. They care about their colleagues and connect with them on a personal level, knowing their personal matters influence their success as well. The best leaders make their subordinates feel valued and inspire them to do things that will make them feel and perform better.

4. You listen to people

One thing that separates great leaders from good ones is a willingness to learn. This is one area in which true leaders excel. They are continually asking questions, voraciously inquiring, and are never fully satisfied. They utilize their abilities and recognize change as an opportunity to learn. The fastest way to lose credibility among peers is to lose touch with the current situation — and show no interest in catching up.

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Great leaders always stay updated, they aren’t afraid of setbacks and criticism, they’re open to constructive opinion and debate. They don’t keep grudges or discourage anyone when they’re wrong. Instead, they focus on solutions and moving forward. In a nutshell, real leaders absorb feedback and take action. Even when they fail, people know their voices were heard by their leader and the process was fair.

5. You give people ownership

Top leaders give their people ownership at work. They don’t stand over them to ensure each and every task is done in a particular manner. They turn their employees loose to discover, test, learn, and understand. They perform their roles by asking questions and providing guidance. In simple words, they give people space to find out how to resolve problems themselves. Through their trust and provision, they encourage improvement. In return, they get respect and loyalty.

6. You establish excellence

Great leaders don’t “demand” excellence — they establish it by setting an example. They put themselves in an employee’s shoes. Under a true leader, employees set their bar high and big things are anticipated every day. Great leader make employees set goals to keep them focused and out of trouble. They push continuous learning to keep workers active and demand results, regardless of standards, politics, and difficulties.

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A great leader understands where you are in terms of knowledge and skill and nudges you on to the next level.

7. You weigh potential

Good leaders don’t just hire people for just a particular job, they also weigh their potential. They don’t look or focus on what an employee can’t do or what others say about them. They focus on what they could do. Amazing leaders look for opportunities to help their talented employees build confidence. Great leaders see what other leaders can’t because they look for it — and they gain the rewards as a result.

8. You lead by example

True leaders are the ones who inspire devotion, trust, and brilliance. They hold themselves accountable to the same rules and regulations as those they lead. They lead by example and view their employees as equals — and they don’t hesitate to get their hands dirty with them. Before judging others, they focus on their own behavior and weigh what’s important and what’s not. That’s exactly how they know what is actually fair, and their people know that they’re being treated fairly too.

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Featured photo credit: The Natural Step Canada via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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