We are influencers and influence people on a daily basis whether this is unconsciously or consciously. So, what makes a great leader and do you and the people that you work with possesses the characteristics that inspire and drive us forward on a daily basis.
We posed this question to Brad Burton the “UK’s Number 1 Motivational Business Speaker, Founder of 4 Networking, author of 4 bestselling books, coach and Trainer” and he said “hands down the characteristics of a true leader for him were “Self-Leadership and Tenacity.”
From our own research there are 10 great qualities that every leader should possess amongst these are Self-development, Creativity, Confidence and Communication.
- Honesty – Every Director and Manager has or will face the difficult job of building trust in their leadership. And trust doesn’t come before honesty. Quality leaders make truthful, ethical behaviour a priority and in turn, they do not only gain the respect of their team but their team follows. The result is a healthy, co-operative work atmosphere with the leader and the team ‘on the same page.’
- Delegation – Delegation isn’t just about passing a job off to another. It’s about understanding the skills of each team member. When a leader delegates a task, it should be to the right person with full trust in the individual. Great leadership capitalizes on the strengths of the individuals and team to deliver strong results for the business.
- Communication – Your goals may be clear in your mind but are they clear to your team? Strong leadership focuses on communicating clearly, consistently and effectively, gauging the responses of others and making improvements as a result. And what’s more, strong leadership goes hand-in-hand with passion. If you cannot relate your vision to your team, you don’t have a shared goal. It’s also vitally important that leaders express a ‘my door is always open’ attitude. Make yourself available to discuss issues with staff – if they can depend on you then they’ll be dependable.
- Light Atmosphere – Even if your latest marketing strategy has gone down the pan, your website has crashed or you’ve lost that major client, it’s important that you focus on what can be learnt and get the team involved. Faced with challenges, a strong leader will consciously build the morale of their team to maintain perspective and productivity. Positive energy and a sense of humour helps a team find their way through challenges. When great leadership is at work, the environment stays fresh and positive no matter what arises.
- Confidence – A leader needs to possess a level of self-confidence. There may be days where things aren’t going to plan and you aren’t feeling too bright about your latest ideas, your team shouldn’t be affected. A great leader knows how to keep calm in challenging situations and will keep focused on building the team morale. Setbacks are a natural cog in achieving the larger goal. You have to have them in order to grow and learn. When you’re calm and confident, your team will feel the same and will power-through with productivity.
- Commitment – Leaders, lead by example. There’s no better motivation in a work environment than seeing a boss putting the hours in to show that hard work is being done on every level. Prove your commitment to your team and you will not only earn their respect but you will instil a positive work environment at your business. Commitment is also important. If you have promised your team a party or an early finish, keep your word. Be consistent with the team and they will know where they stand.
- Positivity – Create a positive environment at your workplace by going the extra mile to make things happen. Introduce monthly events or chats to stay in touch with your team’s personalities. The mood in your office should be balanced between productivity and playfulness. If your team are happy and upbeat then they will be happy to stay that extra hour to finish he project.
- Team Creativity – The right decision won’t always stare leaders in the face so get the team involved. Many minds are better than one and the increase in the team’s morale and motivation when being involved is huge. If your team look to you for guidance then they’re expecting you to consider all options and make a decision. Involving your team in the decisions isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of belief in your workforce.
- Self Development – You can only lead people as far as you have ever been and you can only teach people what you know. In these times of rapid change it is essential for a leader to keep abreast of what is new and happening. If you learn, you will create a learning culture which will inspire, engage, retain and improve team productivity.
- Inspire – A team cannot grow in strength without the inspiration of their leader. You should make your team feel successful no matter what challenges face them and ensure they feel invested in and it is them who makes the success of the business happen. Acknowledge the work of each of your team members and keep their spirits up. Inspiration is at the core of excellent leadership.