Leading different people towards a singular goal will always be tricky. Juggling personalities, meeting deadlines, and making steady progress is just the beginning.
It’s truly an art form that has yet to be mastered. Many books and articles have been written on the topic, but none have quite covered all the bases. We’ve gathered the most important leadership traits from battle-hardened war veterans to high-performing entrepreneurs, and these are the consistent qualities demonstrated by all of them.
These are the 10 qualities you can implement today, to lead from the front and have your team rally around you!
1. Be a Role Model
Being a leader means that you will face a lot scrutiny. You will be looked at as an example, and your moves will always be under a microscope. Making sound decisions and demonstrating an excellent work ethic is just the tip of the iceberg. Show your team how to get things done by being the example. Your actions will speak louder than words, and it will boost your credibility by walking the walk. Practice what you preach, and your followers will listen to what you say.
2. Be Humble
Set your ego aside and recognize that you can’t do it alone. The best leaders know that their team is the most important part of their success. Without your staff, you can’t accomplish your goals and meet timelines. Every member is important and crucial contributors to the overall effort. From the top salesman to the new intern, treat everyone equally and show respect. Do what you can, where you can, listen to your workers, and trust their judgment.
3. Earn their Respect
No matter what anyone says, respect is always earned. Your team will only follow you when you gain their trust. Demonstrate that you have sound judgment and the ability to make good decisions. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and do everything in your power to make things work. Show them that you don’t mind turning wrenches and that you’re one of them. A team will always follow someone who is willing to fight by their side.
4. Know your People
Knowing your personnel is crucial to placing individuals in the right roles. Misplacing individuals in areas that don’t suit them is an error that can be easily avoided. It’s all about getting the right people in the right seats. Once you’ve established who should be part of your team, determine what’s role suits their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses. Be like a football coach and place your players in the proper positions to increase your chances of success and boost productivity.
5. Know the Jobs
Understanding all the jobs helps you make informed decisions. By understanding the processes and work that goes into each area you mitigate your risk and can help you make sound decisions. Do your best to learn all the intricacies in each role so that you can implement the best solutions. You will also grow an appreciation of the workers handling these tasks as you move forward.
6. Praise in Public, Criticize in Private
Employees will make mistakes, and if they need to be reprimanded make sure you do it discreetly. From small oversights to big blunders most know when they have made a mistake and hardly need reminding. The last thing you need to do is embarrass them in front of their peers. Talk to them in private or just send an email. Keep these issues between the two of you.
However, when an employee does a good job make sure to praise them publicly. Everyone is willing to work harder when they know they will be recognized. It also helps boost morale and lets them know they are appreciated.
Keeping everyone informed is vital. Make sure that everyone on the team is up to date with the newest information. Trickle updates from the top down so that all team members are aware and in the loop. Avoid the classic mistake of failure to communicate by speaking with personnel consistently and clarifying any confusion.
8. Celebrate Team Success
Reward your people whenever you land a big project or when they accomplish important goals. It keeps them motivated and encourages them to continue their hard work. Whenever these accomplishments are overlooked, it makes employees feel unappreciated. Show your gratitude by throwing an office an office party to demonstrate that you care. You’d be surprised how far a simple gesture can go.
9. Check your Attitude
Whatever is going on in your personal, make sure you leave it at home. By lashing out, you isolate yourself and create a hostile work environment; this will lead to poor rapport if continued. Everyone has problems, just don’t punish someone else that has nothing to do with the situation. Keep your head on straight and your emotions in check so that you can avoid causing unneeded disruption in the workplace.
10. Be Authentic
Just be yourself. Embrace who you are as a person and leader. Not everyone is the same, and your leadership style will be different. Do what you feel comfortable and don’t pretend to be something your not. People can smell inauthenticity so just relax and play to your strengths. Your team will appreciate your genuine approach as long as you don’t lie to them.
Leadership is an art form that must continually be worked on. From military commanders, CEO’s, and middle-level managers, no one has it quite figured out, but it’s okay.
Being able to lead is hard but can be improved. Just remember to do what you can, when you can, while treating everyone with respect and you’ll build a strong team capable of accomplishing any goal.