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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 July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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