How To Be A Good Leader

Leaders are responsible for individuals, teams, projects and products.  Giving reputable insight on leadership skills, Forbes cites several qualities and values in successful leaders.

Honesty and ethical behavior are key values.  Employees are a reflection of their leader; honest and ethical behavior will surface as employees mirror their leaders.

Ability to Delegate is a quality that every successful leader must possess. Trusting you team to carry out your vision is crucial. Capitalizing on each member’s strengths and interests will make them more productive as they will enjoy what they’re doing.  With more free time created by delegating, a leader can focus on higher-level activities.

Are “good communicator and successful leader” synonymous?  Absolutely!  The ability to clearly and succinctly articulate your vision and the steps necessary to achieve the goals is imperative in leadership.  Team members, according to their ability, have to have clear, precise instruction as to what the big picture is going to be.  The leader already has this picture:  it’s his dream.  Remember that team members are not mind readers!  Communication is a two-way street:  a good leader must be an excellent listener as well!  Understanding the needs and obstacles of the team not only improves morale, but can often lead to solutions.

Repeated time and time again in the literature: Morale is linked to productivity.  Good leaders have a sense of humor, an ability to inspire and motivate, and exude positive energy. A happy and healthy workspace is just that: Relaxed and produces growth.

Have you ever seen a person in a leadership position who was not confident in their abilities?  Were they a good leader?  Probably not.  Successful leaders have to be confident in their ability to take charge, and their knowledge of the task to be completed.  Team members mirror their leader:  if a leader or manager is not confident, his team will surely not be either. Conversely, arrogant, know-it-all, narrow-minded people in leadership positions earn no respect and do not foster productivity amongst the team.

Are good leaders committed to the cause?  Absolutely!  Commitment is integral to high productivity.  Committed teams are more likely to go above and beyond, and to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Once again, a team mirrors the leader.  A lackadaisical leader will lead an unproductive team.

Successful leaders are also creative, seeking many routes or solutions to conquer the job at hand.  Creativity spawns problem-solving.

The Holden Leadership Institute at the University of Oregon highlights several other qualities unique to great leaders.  Being “proactive versus reactive” is one key ingredient!  Having the ability to think ahead and anticipate issues helps avoid problems.  Managers who simply react are not in control of their milieu.

Understanding what motivates each team member (and the rewards therein) is extremely important for leaders. Everyone is motivated by something different. Finding that perfect combination of a motivating factor with a like reward is crucial to retaining talent and fostering productivity within members of a team.

Lastly, good managers must be comfortable setting boundaries and being consistent.  Favoritism has no place on a team, and all actions have consequences.

Which of these do you possess?




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