“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” – Warren Bennis
Great leaders share many common traits with you and I. For one thing they are human! They have made mistakes, failed, they have overcome disappointment, heartache, tragedy and grief. No great leader has ever been able to escape the roller coaster ride of life.
Becoming a great leader is a work in progress. There are a number of events that occur in the life of a leader where they were required to act on specific personal qualities or traits that enabled them to lead people to achieve successful outcomes. I believe that everybody has within them the potential to be a great leader.
Nelson Mandela is an example of a person who had a personal philosophy and mindset that enabled him to become a great leader. He didn’t think he was any one special however when placed in a situation where he would be tested and isolated from life, his personal philosophy became the mantra from which he became a great leader.
You may not know it but you hold within you the beliefs, attitudes and traits that are of leadership quality. Here are 13 signs that you have within you the mindset of a leader. If you “unleashed” your leadership mindset, there is no doubt that you would become the “great leader” you were born to be.
1. You Are A Realist and An Optimist
You accept that life is unique and it is what it is. You like to deal with the reality of life however because you are an optimist you have hope for the future and a positive outlook on life.
You believe that there will always be a way to sort out any situation you may face in life. Your optimistic view of life is contagious and a source of positive energy for those around you.
These are great qualities to have as a leader, as leaders need to be positive and hopeful and at the same time accepting what will be, will be.
2. You Love To Learn
You are always open to learning new things, in fact you actively search for new knowledge and information that can enhance your abilities to be a better person. You also love to learn from others and you will actively search out and connect with people who you can watch and learn from.
Your love of learning is definitely a leadership quality. A good leader never stops learning. They never turn down the opportunity to learn new things. Like you, leaders are open to the fact that the opportunity to learn can come at any time. It could come from a university lecturer, the person who makes their coffee or sells them a newspaper. Your love of learning sets you on the pathway to being a great leader.Advertising
3. You Are A Good Listener
“We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea!” – Richard Branson
You know when you are a good listener because people come to you to ask your advice or to share their problems. They know that when they talk to you, you make them feel that they have been heard and valued.
You don’t like to do a lot of talking when you are listening to a person because that distracts you from getting to the core of the issue or problem that is being discussed.
The conversations you have with these people are not about you and you understand that. You may know the answer about how this person could solve the problem, however your focus is guiding and advising the person as to how they can come to their own solution or plan of action.
Richard Branson believes that a person who is a great listener has the ability to be a great leader. It is a key requirement according to Branson and you have it.
4. You Always See Potential In Others
You love people and you connect easily with all types of people. You also operate intuitively and will recognise very quickly the potential abilities of people you meet.
You see the potential for personal leadership in others and will encourage and support those people to take up any opportunity to unleash their potential.
5. You Are A Kind Person
You have empathy for people and you can very quickly tune in to how they are feeling. You do not believe that by showing kindness that you are being weak. In fact you see it as a strength because by being empathetic and kind to others means that you are living your values and that to you is very important.
Being kind to others is an integral part of your life philosophy and this is what makes you a great leader.
6. You Are Resourceful
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
You have this amazing ability to use what ever you are given to make the best of a situation.People look to you as the person who can take them out of a crises because you always seem to find a way.
You are prepared to ask for favours, work hard, stay focused, be honest and ask for help. You have an ability to see and prepare for the future because you embrace the concept of change.
To you change is a constant part of life and you just go with it. This is a key quality for a leader to have, because to be resourceful, you have to be motivated to act quickly – procrastination is like a swear word to you.
7. You Are A Good Communicator
You know who you are and what you stand for. You can clearly articulate to others your thoughts and opinions. Speaking your truth is important to you however you are also very aware of how others receive your message.
You are quite strategic in how you deliver what can be received as “unwelcome news”. Your intention is always to communicate even if it is a difficult message with heart felt intent and you strive to ensure that those receiving the message feel and clearly understand your intent and what you are saying to them.
There is no confusion, misunderstanding or unclear expectations when you are communicating with others because you work hard to ensure that all parties are on the same page.
8. You Create And Maintain Great Relationships
You enjoy being around people and you surround yourself with people who challenge, inspire, teach, support and encourage you. You are a great networker because you love connecting to people.
Family and friends are very important to you and you work hard to have flourishing relationships with all your family and friends.
People see you as someone who is reliable, honest and trustworthy – you keep your word and you are not into the drama of life. That’s just not your style. You avoid relationships with people who lead lives that are full of drama and negativity – their energy drags you down.
You love the positive energy that your relationships give you as it is this energy that fires you up, inspires and motivates you. This is such an important quality for a leader to have and you have it! Congratulations.Advertising
9. You Like To Have Fun And Celebrate
“If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try some thing else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.” – Richard Branson
This is how Richard Branson lives his life and you follow a similar life philosophy. Enjoying what you do in your life both professionally and personally is important to you and you just love to have fun. You also love to celebrate your successes and other people’s successes.
Your optimism and outlook on life is a source of positive energy and its contagious. People really enjoy being around you because you inspire and motivate them with your energy, enthusiasm and love of life.
People always feel good when they engage and connect with you. A wonderful quality that sets you up to be an incredible leader.
10. You Are Self Aware And Confident
You know who you are, what you are good at and what you are not so good at. You accept that you are accountable for your own actions and behaviours.
You are not into the blame game and will admit you are wrong or have made a mistake with no hesitation. You spend a lot of time getting to know you so that you can be a better person.
You are really comfortable working with others who are more skilled than you because it means the job will get done – probably to a better standard than if you had tried to complete the task alone.
You know your strengths and your weakness and you’re not afraid to share with people these aspects about you. You know when you can help and when you need help and as a result you appear to others as a confident, articulate and empathetic person.
11. You Are Prepared To Take A Stand For What You Believe
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
You know who you are and what you believe in and you make sure that those around you know also. You are not afraid to speak your mind. You also believe it is important to do what you believe is right.Advertising
You are committed to your values and you live your life according to those values. You respect diversity and difference however you do not tolerate injustice, intolerance and the abuse of others.
People feel inspired by your commitment and passion and will seek you out to connect and engage with you. This is a key quality of a great and courageous leader. It takes courage to stand up and speak out for those who are too afraid to.
12. You Tend Not To Panic In Difficult Situations
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus
This quotes illustrates when good leaders shine – which is effectively leading in challenging and tough times. By staying calm in times of crises you demonstrate a key leadership quality. When you are able to stay calm in a crises situation you maintain the ability to reason, to be effective, to have empathy and to connect to how you feel.
An individual who panics can not act or respond with consideration. They can only react and respond in the heat of the moment. You do not operate this way because you know that irrational and reactive behaviour does not produce effective and reasonable solutions.
13. You Are A Solution Based Thinker Who Likes To Think Outside of the Square
You are future orientated in your thinking and that means that you like to look outside of the square to search for solutions. Forget the problem you say, lets look at what solutions are out there for us to consider on how we can solve the problem.
You have an ability to see and prepare for the future because you embrace the concept of change. To you change is a constant part of life and you prepare for it and you just go with it.
You enjoy the challenge of thinking outside of the square because it requires you to be creative and innovative and thats when you feel the most energised and inspired.
People feel your passion and energy – it is contagious and people love you for it! When you are in this space you are operating as the great leader you were born to be.
“I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbour makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity.” – Scott Berkun
Last Updated on October 14, 2020
Delegation of Authority: The Complete Guide for Effective Leaders
Do you absolutely hate failing? You’re in luck because, today, you’ll learn the art of how to tackle failure in your work life. The magic trick is called delegation of authority.
Failure is often a result of excess burden. When you take on more than you can handle, you are unable to perform well, even if you have the expertise to do it perfectly. It’s demotivating, a waste of time, and extremely annoying.
Let’s take a deep look into the delegation of authority to figure out how to make the most of it.
Table of Contents
What Does It Mean to Delegate Authority?
Delegating authority is neither magic nor rocket science. It is exactly what it means: division of workload and distribution of power.
Now, this is where most superiors get worried. They misunderstand the idea and believe that distribution will take away their authority.
However, the division and distribution of authority are like giving the entire team autonomy over their own job, but their control is limited to just that.
The superior still has supremacy over all the employees.
Authority delegation minimizes the workload of the superior. This work is broken down into smaller tasks and spread out into a team so that every member works simultaneously to finish the project in a shorter time.
3 Elements of Delegating Authority
The delegation of authority has three elements:
1. Assigning Responsibility
This is the first step in the process. A person who is in charge, such as a manager or a team leader, assigns other team members certain tasks that have to be completed in a given period. Of course, this is only possible if the superior has more control and authority in the work environment than the subordinates.
2. Granting Authority
The next step is to give the subordinates enough authority and responsibility for them to complete the task and act independently.
So, let’s say you are a supervisor who allocated one person in your team to do a certain task. This assignment will be useless to you if the subordinate has to come to you every step of the way to get permission and signatures required to fulfill the allocated job.
Unless you’re giving authority, you aren’t delegating. Instead, you’re only assigning a task, and that won’t bring you any benefits.
Also, granting authority puts the subordinate in charge. This person is now responsible for doing what they’re assigned, however they like. It’s up to them how they tackle obstacles. All that you as the supervisor should be concerned about are the final results.
3. Maintaining Accountability
There’s always a risk that some team members may not act responsibly, especially when they have been given authority over the assigned task. This is why you have to make every employee or team member accountable through some rules and regulations.
The superior must always have the right to ask the responsible person about their task. Creating an accountability culture in a company is important, and accountability goes upwards in the hierarchy of a work environment. Never offer any leniency in this regard if you want to ensure quality outputs.
This step of giving and receiving feedback helps improve the future work ethic immensely.
Why Is It Important to Delegate Authority?
Many times, superiors take on all the duties because they have a hard time trusting someone else to do the job as well as they would do themselves.
That’s a valid concern, and it may keep you from getting the most out of authority delegation.
But, with this risk comes a long list of benefits. It is actually important to delegate authority for the betterment of your organization and team.
Superiors Can Perform Better
The most important benefit of delegating authority is that the manager divides authority and gets the time to do their actual job.
As a supervisor, your first duty is to maintain the flow of your team. With your workload minimized and more time at hand, you can pay attention to the minor details.
It gives supervisors the time to look at the more important stuff. Simultaneously, they get a chance to test which team members are most efficient. In case of any problem, the delegator has enough room in their schedule to sit down to figure out a solution.
All in all, it leads to a more efficient performance from the supervisor’s side.
Subordinates Learn With the Flow
With a degree of authority in their hands, the subordinates begin to feel useful and important. This feeling is the most important route to improvement.
As your subordinates work independently, they not only improve their existing skills, but they also perform better. Since they are ones in control, they are the only ones accountable for everything they put on the table. This sense of responsibility provides the mandatory boost of motivation.
Moreover, with the delegation of authority, the superiors and subordinates work on the same level to a certain extent. This allows the team members to learn from their supervisors while also polishing their knowledge practically.
Leads to Better Relationships
If you’re in charge of any team, work as a manager, or own an organization that you run, you already know why employee-employer relationships are vital.
The same applies to every workgroup.
So, even if you’re just one small group of 5 people in a multinational organization, the rules are coherent.
By letting go of some responsibilities and giving individuals a chance to grow, you’re spreading positive work vibes. It all works in a cycle where you give the team some authority, they feel important and outperform, your trust in them strengthens, and you continue to delegate authority moving forward.
5 Tips to Delegate Authority Effectively
There is a whole mechanism that supports the delegation of authority.
If done right, this concept has numerous advantages. However, the key is that it’s done right.
1. Choose the Best Person
It’s not easy to trust another person to do something that you would have preferred to do yourself. That is why it is crucial that you only delegate a task to someone that you have full faith in.
The easiest way to do this is to pre-asses every team member’s skills and qualities. In your mind, have a clear idea of who does what best. So, if there is one particular individual who excels at technology, you will know where to go every time there’s a job related to that skill.
Once you’re satisfied with who is in control, more than half of the issue is resolved and things will most likely go smoothly.
2. Offer Enough Autonomy
One huge mistake you may make is to break down tasks too much.
Let’s say your team of 10 people has to arrange an office party for 100 people. You have to manage the location, decorations, food, and furniture.
You can either assign 4 individuals each of the 4 main jobs, or you can divide each component further into small tasks.
In the case of the latter, tasks will overlap, things will get confusing, and none of your team members will have full control over their assigned task.
This generally leads to a final result that is extremely non-coherent.
3. Clear Communication
A major aspect of delegation is the availability of clear instructions. From details of the task to deadlines, the person who has to fulfill the job should be clear on every single detail.
Unless they know what’s expected from them, they will never be able to satisfy the delegator.
You can learn more about effective communication in this article.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Pressure
Yes, diamonds only form after the charcoal is put under immense pressure. But, honestly, you don’t need to implement that strategy in your work environment when implementing delegation of authority.
Offer plenty of time and flexibility for each individual to be able to offer their best performance.
Some people may work better under pressure. In that case, let the individual make that decision for themselves.
5. Offer a Helping Hand
Just because you’ve given someone else the task and power does not mean you have to back off completely.
In fact, you should try to be a part of the process, but only from outside a defined boundary. This is something you’ll have to figure out practically as per the needs of your work environment. However, it will ultimately lead to you being a more respected leader:
The important point is that if someone is facing an issue with the delegated task, do not refuse to help. Offer advice and support readily so that your team can learn from you. It will end up benefiting your organization.
Conclusively, it is safe to say that the delegation of authority is a very helpful technique to adopt in workplaces. It allows for a positive working environment as well as fruitful results.
It’s something that all leaders should implement to achieve a time-efficient and productive workspace!
More on the Importance of Delegation
- What Is Delegation and How Does It Enhance Team Management?
- How to Delegate Tasks Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)
- The Delights of Delegation: Why Going it Alone Doesn’t Work
Featured photo credit: Dylan Gillis via unsplash.com
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