Qualities That Make An Exceptional Leader
Inspiring OthersBuilding a winning business is based on forecasting and research. No business is going to blindly go with an idea and just throw money at it. In addition to this you're going to need to be able to inspire your team and stakeholders to see the value and vision of what you are looking to achieve. The first step in achieving this is getting each person involved so they feel they are vital to the outcome. People you lead need responsibility to themselves and to each other. Tell that without their skills and experience you simply can't make the dream a reality.
Being that leader who inspires a team is great for helping your business or your employers focus on a positive future and also things that are happening in the here and now. Sadly, worklife isn't always sunshine and buttercups, sometimes it's a drag, it's tiring so morale can drop and productivity can slow up. As a leader you need to know when people need a lift. Don't be afraid to praise the work that everyone has done for you, each other and the business. In your role as a leader it's your job to do this and do it publicly with a show of gratitude towards your teams and individuals.
Adopting A Creative MindsetEvery now and again the decisions you have to make can't rely on research. You'll always have those difficult times where you need to make a decision on the spot without notice. Being a creative thinker can save your bacon in these times. When the going gets tough your team will look to you for guidance and they'll be relying on you to make a decion that they can all believe in and draw confidence from you as a leader. It might be that you have two or three bad choices to pick from. In these circumstances don't jump at the choice you think will simply please everyone, just pause for a second and think. You can even ask your team for their opinion. By looking quickly at your options you can usually reach the end you wanted.
Trust Your Intuition
Difficult times are always just around the corner and no amount of experience is going to give you all the solutions. When times get tough, the higher the pressure on you to guide your ship through stormy times will be. In these dark times you have to trust your intuition. Your people will be looking to you to solve things quickly or at least be strong enough to get them through it. Regardless of your support network it'll be down to you to make the tough calls and this is where you'll need your gut feelings. You need to trust yourself before anyone else will.
Keeping your people in the game and motivated towards success after success is vital to the well being of your company. You need to keep people happy but that doesn't mean saying 'yes' all the time or giving in to demands but it does mean doing the nice things like providing snacks, coffee, tea, career advice, or even just laughs in the office. Let's face it, if your team is happy to be in work I'll wager that they'll be happy to do more and be more for the common cause.
I can assure you that sooner or later your reputation will be on a downward spiral, it happens to the best of us. But's it not permanent! All our careers have ups and downs. All you need to do is take a deep breath and NOT panic. As a leader you need to maintain an air of confidence, an unwavering belief in your abilities, your teams skills and your companies core values and good name. Maintaining these things shows your people that you believe in what you're doing and they will feel the same way. The moment you doubt yourself and your people they will see the chink in your armour. If you radiate confidence, your team will pick up on it and in turn will also feel confident.
If your not willing to dig in and show commitment then don't expect anyone else to. Being hands on and grinding out a days performance is what people want to see. Lead by example because it’s important to show your commitment to your work and people. Work hard, harder than anyone else and be fair to your people. They'll respect you for it and stand with you against any challenge without question.
Be True And Honest
You have your own values and when you lead a team of people, its important to raise the bar even higher than your own values and expectations. Your business and teams performance is a direct reflection of you and if you make honest decisions, so will your people.
You know what you want to achieve and you know how to go about it but trying to get that message across to your charges is something else. Being able to communicate what you want done is imperative. If you can't make others understand you'll all end up working towards different variations of the same target and fall short at the deadline. Make it important to talk to your staff daily. Leave your door open.
Trust gets things done and done well. Trusting your team with your idea is a sign of strength and unity that everyone picks up on, even those not in your department. As your workload grows it's important to delegate work to others in your team and make sure that you give them worthwhile work to perform because then your people will volunteer for the worst jobs, because you trusted them with the important stuff.
When delegating work you should understand the great many strengths of your team. Knowing your team means knowing what each person in it enjoys doing. Working and delegating like this will show your team that you trust them and believe in them. It’s not always easy to delegate but it will speed things up and bring you closer to success.
Bang! Something has gone wrong. You've lost a client! Or perhaps your budget has been slashed. A sense of humor is as important as any skill you can pick up. Laugh at mistakes or bad news, don't feel sorry for yourself. If you can find the bright spots in the bad times, your team will fight through and become stronger and they won't dread turning in for work. Have a laugh with your team and bump up morale.