That’s a rather abstract overview of leadership though and one that doesn’t really give us all that much concrete information to work with.
So let’s take a look at some of the more concrete traits that we can break down this concept into…
What is a good leader?
Good leaders believe in what they’re doing. Perhaps one of the single most important things for a good leader is that they believe in what they are doing. That is to say that good leaders should have a real passion for what they’re doing and really believe in it. This is important because it will help them to make the best decisions for the long term of the business and also because it will help them to inspire others.
Good leaders see the big picture
A good leader needs to be able to step back and see the bigger picture. They need to understand where the team is headed and what challenges will face them along the way. This is important because it will allow all the individual members of that team to focus on their smaller aspect.
Good leaders have broad knowledge
A good leader should be something of a jack of all trades. The reason for this, is that it will give them the understanding to see how all the pieces fit together and it will mean they are able to deal with issues as they arise across departments; even when that means taking more of a top-level approach rather than understanding the nitty gritty. You’ll also find that having some basic experience in each aspect of your business can help you to get more respect from the professionals in each aspect of your organization.
Good leaders understand people
A good leader should be able to work with anyone. This means they need to be able to empathize with those people and to understand what makes them tick so that they can inspire them to take action. It also means that a good leader needs to know how to.
Good leaders are great communicators
This also means you need to be able to communicate as a leader. Not only is it your job to communicate the plan in a way that your team can fully understand but it is also your job to communicate to your superiors and to your clientele.
Good leaders think ahead
A good leader shouldn’t just be dealing with the day-to-day challenges of the business, but should be thinking one step ahead. You need to be constantly questioning what the next challenge will be and how to face it and you need to be thinking about how to grow, improve and scale your organization.
Good leaders have contingency plans
Good leaders also need to have multiple contingencies and backup plans. Think of your worst case scenarios and be prepared for them.
Good leaders lead by example
It is important that you lead by example in all cases. This means that you need to take a ‘do as I do’ approach, rather than making one rule for one person and another for yourself. It also means more generally setting the tone.
Teams look to their leaders as barometers to identify how serious any given situation is and to know how they should react. If you panic, then your team will panic. If you stay calm, then your team will too.
Good leaders are courageous
A good leader needs to be courageous. If this is sounding like your Saturday morning TV show again, then bear in mind that we’re not talking about the kind of courage that gives you the strength to stand up to the Deceptions in Transformers. Rather, we’re talking about the courage to take risks and to break the mold. This is very important.
Good leaders take responsibility
Once you have made that decision, it is critical that you stand by it and face the music. That means that you need to accept responsibility when things go wrong. This can seem unfair at times but once again, it is actually a feature that is important for the welfare of the team. By accepting responsibility, you remove culpability from your team and
give them the freedom to work without fear of repercussions.
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