Leadership is a very important topic and it is crucial to business success. There is a quote that goes ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you wand to go far go together.’ I really like this quote because without a team you cannot really go far. You need to have a great team in place in order to go the mile and succeed. We all read articles and quotes from Richard Branson, Bill Gates and other successful business people, telling us how important it is to treat our employees right, but do we really understand what it means? Do we really try to improve ourselves?
Recently I decided to read, well not read but listen to an audible version of Dales Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People to remind myself how important it is to communicate with people. I always say that it is detrimental for every person to read or listen to this book. It is so easy to get caught up in our day to day activities and forget how important it is to take some time and think about how we communicate with our team.
Improving our leadership skills does not just improve our sales, it also improves our lives because we inspire others. We help other people unlock their potential and push their boundaries. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you helped other human being achieve something. We need to be the kind of leaders we wish we had when we were working for someone else. We have to be role models.
I believe that we cannot learn from great leadership at a fast pace, but we can definitely learn very quick from bad leadership and know what NOT to do. Bad leaders are too bossy, like Inc magazine mentions, it is a common misconception that bossy people make good bosses. The reality is that the opposite is true. Someone who simply orders others around is unlikely to engender any loyalty or make subordinates feel empowered. True leaders do not have followers, they create more leaders.
Here are some characteristics that great leaders have:
- They always have a positive attitude
It does not matter what happens around them, they always have a positive attitude about everything. They know that their team will not be happy and motivated unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating an amazing and happy atmosphere in the workplace. Even some simple things like providing beers or wine on Fridays can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they are happy and appreciated.
2. They manage failure
In the real world, failures and setbacks will happen. It does not matter how hard we try to avoid them, they always happen. But the main point here is not that they happen, it is what we do when they do happen. Character and businesses are build on setbacks. Some people define these failures as setbacks, some see it as an opportunity to push themselves and thrive. Great leaders remain calm and logically think through the situation. They utilize their resources. What they do not do is fall apart and reveal how worried they really are to their team. This leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks. Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they are faced with setbacks.
3. They take full responsibility
Great leaders know that when it comes to their company or whatever situation they are in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves do not? The best leaders do not make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they are trustworthy and possess integrity.
4. They are fully committed
Firstly, we need to keep our commitments and promises. Sometimes I don’t, I forget so that is why I write everything down on Asana, to make sure I don’t forget. If we do not follow up on what we have promised or have committed to, then we will come across as untrustworthy leaders and people will not have any confidence in us. Secondly, we need to be the most committed and hard working person on the job. We need to lead by example. All great leaders do this. Why should our staff and team members give it their all if we can not be bothered to do the same? By proving our own commitment we will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic. If I say, like I always do on my Instagram and YouTube channel, that we need to hustle like never before and I go to work at 09:00am and leave at 18:00 nobody will be inspired because I say one thing but do completely the opposite.
5. They are laser focused
Extraordinary leaders plan ahead, and they are supremely organised. They think through multiple scenarios and the possible impacts of their decisions, while considering viable alternatives and making plans and strategies-all targeted toward success. Once prepared, they establish strategies, processes, and routines so that high performance is tangible, easily defined, and monitored. They communicate their plans to key players and have contingency plans in the event that last-minute changes require a new direction (which they often do). They are very focused on their work and on their tasks. They do not get distracted by what everybody needs from them every single minute.
One last thing that I noticed about myself. When I write down five things to do and switch off everything, my mobile, log off from my emails and social media accounts, and just work on my tasks without distractions, I achieve amazing things. Let’s be more disciplined and laser focused in 2016.
These are common characteristic that I found from my research on leadership. I hope you enjoyed this article and took some valuable points.