Leadership is personal. Effective leaders have their own style. Successful organizations are led by individuals whose leadership approach meshes well with the corporate culture. There are nuances to your approach that make your success factors unique and powerful, even if they don’t translate well for another leader’s success. That said, there are also common factors among top leaders. These tangible and intangible skills seem to be present in more leaders than not. The good news is this: You can develop these assets for yourself.
Willing to work for it
Long-term success is never handed to you. If you want to get ahead, you’re going to have to work for it. There is no reward without risk. No success without a measure of failure. Great leaders know this. They’ve been willing to pay their dues and work their way up the ladder. They’re also prepared to help others tackle challenges and guide their team through the process.
Believe it and sell it
Confidence is an integral component of success. If you don’t believe you can make an impact, you won’t. Great leaders have a realistic view of the long-game, as well as the confidence that they’ll be crossing the proverbial finish line at the end of it. They also have the ability to nurture that same confidence in others. Not only do they believe they can succeed, they have the credibility needed to inspire others to believe the same.
It takes a team
When was the last time you saw the quarterback take the field on his own and win a game? Right. It doesn’t happen. From the football field to the office, great leaders know that success is a team effort. Your role as a manager is to nurture and support your team as they move the ball forward.
The right attitude
Even great leaders are met with curve balls. Even the best laid plans can go awry. All it takes is one external factor outside your control to knock things off course. You can’t control everything, but you can control your attitude. Not only that, but your attitude is going to set the tone for the rest of your team. Great leaders meet setbacks and changes with the determination and confidence to glean important lessons from the experience. They are willing to adapt and proceed with Plan B.
Great learners = great leaders
If you think you know all there is to know about your subject area (or your business), think again. Even the best pro among us has something to learn. Great leaders recognize their own shortcomings and gaps. They are continually striving to learn more, uncover more, and grow more. They also encourage their team to do the same.
Show don’t tell
Having a vision and sharing it with your organization is a necessity. Being prepared to offer a roadmap on how to get from start to finish may also be part of your leadership responsibilities. There’s more to getting the job done than talk, however. Great leaders lead by example. If you recognize the value of downtime, for example, it’s not enough to encourage your team to make sure they’re taking time for themselves to recharge. You’ve got to be willing to clock out and take time away from the office too. If you are looking for team players willing to roll up their sleeves and work outside the parameters of their job description to get the job done, be willing to do so yourself, too. If you value one’s ability to admit their mistakes and grow from them, well, you get the idea.
Listen then talk
Great leaders recognize that the most important part of effective communication is active listening. They take the time to hear what others are saying. They listen to gather information, not just to formulate a response.
Feel like you need a hand honing these skills for yourself? Let’s talk. I’d be happy to answer your questions. Creative Blueprints offers a free 15-minute collaborative interview to help you evaluate our program options. To schedule an interview, please complete our collaborative interview request form.