Great leadership is mandatory for success in business. Social media and society both demonize and glamorize leaders. I have to say, it’s certainly en vogue to be an entrepreneur nowadays, I love to see it. We deserve recognition for the hard work and effort we invest into our ventures. So, if you think you’re ready to ride the roller coaster of being the #1, the boss, the head honcho, the HNIC, whatever you want to call it. Here are 5 leadership qualities (in no particular order) you absolutely need to have success.
You’ve got to have a vision for the company. That vision should clearly depict how you plan to get started, what the final destination is, and everything in between. It’s key for you to be able to vividly envision your goal because you’ll need to describe/sell it to your group. If your vision is clear and communicated thoroughly, your staff will be able to wrap their minds around it and play their role in bringing it to life.
Also, another form of vision is being able to see an idea or plan play out 10 steps down the line. This is also a major key. Having the vision to see how customers 1 year from now will react to a marketing idea presented today is crucial to success.
If you don’t have vision, it’s the blind leading the blind. Got it? Good!
Honestly, I wasn’t sure this was a word, but it is, and you need it. There’s nothing more ineffective than a group of uninspired human beings. This is one of the tough aspects of being a leader. When your team is uninspired, you lose twice. How? Well, your team will show up to get paid(-1), and produce worthlessness (-2). Just because people call themselves professionals doesn’t mean they’ll show up to work prepared to perform at a high level. It sucks, but you’ll need to motivate them to give you the best they’ve got.
If you’ve got good people, 85% of the time you’re good. The remaining 15% will call for you to dig deep and give them great inspiration to step it up. I’ll provide my inspirational tips in a future. For now, I’ll let you figure out what to say on your own. Overall, you’ve got to be able to get people to follow you. You have to get people to respect you, to believe in you. If you don’t have the respect or confidence of the team, you cannot succeed, at all. That is very important.
You may not need to do this everyday, but your people have to know that you’re willing to go into the trenches with them and put the work in. Even if you’re office is in the tallest building on the top floor with the great view, you’ve got to be willing to go down to the basement, grab a mop and bucket, and do the dirty work to let them know that you’re invested. They’ve got to see that you’re willing to do everything necessary to succeed. That will really encourage your team, and everyone around them to do their job better. They’ll know you’re not above doing the small things to get the job done. That will go a long way.
You must accept responsibility for what happens in your company, right or wrong. Especially the wrong. Accountability is extremely necessary in winning people over. When you take responsibility for things you didn’t do instead of publicly outing the actual responsible party, people respect that. When you move forward, not complaining about issues publicly, finding a way to fix it and grow from it, people really respect that. When the leader of the organization takes a shot for the team, people really look at you in a different light.
Watching a leader take the lead will make your team want to fight for you in the future. This is really key to getting people on your side. Now, this doesn’t mean people will get a free pass to make mistakes, mistakes will always need to be addressed. Team members will be held responsible for missteps privately, for sure.
The leader must take responsibility for the company as a whole. I like to say, “everyone wants to be the leader until they realize that everything is their fault”, and that’s so true. I find myself taking responsibility for so many things, many of them totally out of my control.
Lastly, you cannot be a leader and be prideful. The contrasts of these qualities is humongous. I just can’t see how someone can be an effective leader and unwilling to say “I apologize”. I just can’t see it.
5. Even Keeled
When you’re looking to engage and get the most from your team, you’ll need to be encouraging to them, most often, when times aren’t going so well. Positivity never gets old. When you raise the spirits of your team during rough times, that’s a great opportunity to gain their respect.
Congratulating someone when they do a great job is important. But, (MAJOR KEY ALERT) helping people to not feel terrible for making mistakes, helping them understand that we all make mistakes, and that we’re just here to grow from the mistakes we’ve made together is where you can really make headway with your team. It’ll also assist in getting the buy-in from them knowing that you’re down for the cause.
When a team member is aware that they’ve personally failed the company, but sees that we’re all taking responsibility for it, it’s a great opportunity to grow as a unit. I’ll say something like, “Hey, we’re all going to grow from this, so it isn’t so bad. We just live and learn, we’ll adjust to make sure that we do it a little differently in the future”. Then you can encourage them by saying, “Hey, you’ve done so many things right in the past, you’ll get it right next time, I’m sure you will”. It works like a charm. Obviously, they’ll still need to take responsibility for what was done on their end, but everyone will be better off for the lesson learned. That’s how you really build a great relationship with your team. Never get too high, never get too low.
Did you catch everything? If not, read all 5 again. I promise you, incorporating these qualities into your company will help you to succeed.
There are so many qualities necessary for great leaders, but I’ll get into many more in a future article. Now, here’s your assignment. I want you to practice these 5 qualities in your day-to-day operations. I want you to consciously implement these qualities into your behavior until they become second-nature to you. You will not come across authentically to your team until you begin to master these leadership qualities. You must train your brain to innately think this way.
If you do ingrain these qualities into your behavior, you will attract top talent, you will maintain low turnover, and your team will succeed with you. And… isn’t that what we’re all here for? Yup!
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you pick up a nugget to hold on to. Please keep up with my articles, channels, social media, and share anything that you enjoy with a friend. Your comments are extremely important to me, so please let me know how you feel, I’d love to hear from you!
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