A good leader acts strategically, they craft out a vision and refer constantly to their vision, in their communications and when giving feedback. They are firstly a good manager and they are focused on their people, surrounding themselves with good people.
What is the cost of ineffective leadership within your organization? How many good employees have left your company because of poor leaders? What is your company’s reputation as an employer worth? How many people are passing up your recruitment efforts because of what they’ve heard about your company’s leadership? Are less-than-ideal leadership skills to blame for lack of engagement, lagging motivation, or even the company’s bottom line? Not building the best possible leaders may already be costing you a great deal.
Try new things. Take some risk. Make yourself uncomfortable. Do the things that may risk making you look foolish – what do you have to lose? Leaders take risks. They are not afraid of doing what they believe.
As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,1 his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.2 Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!
SINGAPORE – Not long ago, over dinner in Singapore, we attempted to define what qualities make a great leader. For Klaus, the five key elements were heart, brain, muscle, nerve, and soul. For Kishore, compassion, canniness, and courage were key, as was the ability to identify talent and understand complexity. The extent of the overlap is telling.
A good leader will show confidence in the face of challenges, and will inspire confidence in his team by reminding them that obstacles are just there to be overcome. The confident leader will keep his eye on the goal and will not allow anything deter him or her, or their team, from success.
Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.
The good leader has great investigating skills, and the natural instinct to do so. Being more on the skeptical side motivates the good leader to question everything; the Who, What, Where, How and Why of situation. This line of questioning allows them to not only identify potential strengths and weaknesses, but also why they are present and how they can be resolved.
A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.
But when you find a way to serve a million people, many other benefits follow. Word of mouth is hugely magnified. The feedback you receive is exponentially greater–and so are your opportunities to improve your products and services. You get to hire more employees and benefit from their experience, their skills, and their overall awesomeness.
Gain pleasure. Avoid pain. That’s pretty much what we’re wired for. But is there more to life? Will Edwards considered the question and realized that there is. He realized that we need to wake up to our life purpose and dedicate ourselves to fulfilling it. That’s the only way we’ll live to the full. In 7 Keys to Success, he discusses what it takes to do just that:
The authors advise: “In a world that is changing more rapidly than ever, we should seek leaders who can protect and serve the interests of the people they are supposed to represent. This means not just criticizing the failings of weak leaders, but also highlighting the successes of strong ones. They may be rare, but they do exist, and we should celebrate them.” Not a word about Trump and Putin. But then, the two don’t have the real interests of their people at heart.
“A good leader can hold his or her emotions in check, especially in tough situations,” said David Moore, founding partner and regional vice president of Addison Group staffing firm. “For example, maybe you lost your best client, or a deal you’ve been working on falls through. Regardless, it’s important for leaders to guide a team through challenging times, encouraging them and remaining positive along the way. Team morale is heavily contingent upon a leader’s attitude.”
Integrity is perhaps the most valued and respected quality of leadership and one of the most important management skills you need to attain. By saying what you’ll do and then doing what you say, you will build trust around your team.
You need to understand just what the corporate objectives are. In other words, what is the organization producing and more importantly, what benefits will the product or services have for its customers. People prefer to have a global purpose; they would rather know that the actions they are performing each day will result in positive consequences.
Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money – a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.
Because we’re HUMANS — and as humans we are naturally cognitive misers and have limited willpower. Just doing the five whys and investigating your guilt takes a lot — so just pick it up later when you’re fresh and ready to take action. I suggest setting aside some time in a day or two so you don’t keep pushing it off.
A key to successful management is the relationship between the manager and his or her staff. It’s the manner in which managers manage people that separates the ordinary from the good and the exceptional.
The only way that you can learn is from mistakes, but don’t make lot of mistakes yourself, this will take you years to learn. Instead learn from other’s mistakes, read books of successful people and learn their mistakes and don’t do what they did wrong.
Jump up ^ Zaccaro, S. J., Gulick, L. M. V. & Khare, V. P. (2008). “Personality and leadership”. In C. J. Hoyt, G. R. Goethals & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.), Leadership at the crossroads (Vol 1) (pp. 13–29). Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.
The root of a problem is not always obvious. Even if there’s agreement in the boardroom, such cohesion can lead to interfering with something that might not be broken while what is broken gains steam. For example, decreases in market share are not always a marketing problem; sometimes it’s an engineering or fulfillment problem.
Listen. To be an effective leader, one must listen to what those around you are saying, and then make a decision on what you have heard. To listen is very difficult, but one must, because the lowest of the low person in your business may say something that is effective and very important, something that you would never have thought of. So… learn to listen carefully, and when everyone has had their say, only then make a decision.
A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. It is not dependent on title or formal authority. (Elevos, paraphrased from Leaders, Bennis, and Leadership Presence, Halpern & Lubar.) Ogbonnia (2007) defines an effective leader “as an individual with the capacity to consistently succeed in a given condition and be viewed as meeting the expectations of an organization or society.” Leaders are recognized by their capacity for caring for others, clear communication, and a commitment to persist. An individual who is appointed to a managerial position has the right to command and enforce obedience by virtue of the authority of their position. However, she or he must possess adequate personal attributes to match this authority, because authority is only potentially available to him/her. In the absence of sufficient personal competence, a manager may be confronted by an emergent leader who can challenge her/his role in the organization and reduce it to that of a figurehead. However, only authority of position has the backing of formal sanctions. It follows that whoever wields personal influence and power can legitimize this only by gaining a formal position in the hierarchy, with commensurate authority. Leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level.
The other wants to make money because it allows them to make more things. They want to improve their product. They want to extend their line. They want to write another book, record another song, produce another movie. They love what they make and they see making money as a way to do even more of what they love. They dream of building a company that makes the best things possible…and making money is the way to fuel that dream and build that company they love.
A UNC-Wilmington grad born and raised in North Carolina, Kaitlyn always knew she would end up in NYC to pursue writing. As a summer editorial intern, she contributes career advice to The Muse. In addition, she also writes for other publications, such as USA TODAY College, Her Campus, and The Huffington Post. You can find her searching the city for the best eats, binge-watching Netflix, or catching up with friends at dinner. Say hi on Twitter @KaitlynRussell_