What makes a good leader? It’s one of the most important questions in any business and likely one you’ve asked yourself at some point. People expect the most from their leader, so it’s important that you expect the most from yourself as well.
Here are some tips that you can use to be the best leader that you can be.
Earn Respect, Don’t Expect It
Some people have a natural way with people, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always be a good leader. Some people will think they’re a good leader and automatically expect to be respected. A good leader simply doesn’t do that.
“Having the ability to show respect, empathy, and care to those that follow you, are all attributed to being a great leader. Earning respect is crucial to a successful relationship with someone, while also showing that you care about their work or ideas.” – Brandon Swenson
A good leader knows that respect needs to be earned and will do the work to get it, be it through getting to know their employees, getting work done effectively, and, most important of all, by respecting others equally no matter their position.
Always Seek Improvement
Even when things are going well, a good leader is never completely satisfied. Things can be good, but they can always be better.
“Strong leaders are humble enough to admit they don’t know everything. Building a world-class work culture is a moving target and long-term investment.” – COO Alliance
A leader seeks to improve the company and themselves constantly. The world is always changing and a good leader will change with it.
Leaders are Vulnerable
There is a stigma around leaders that they always have to put up a tough, emotionless facade around their employees if they’re going to be respected. That’s simply untrue.
“Vulnerability has an important place in good business practices. It creates an environment where everyone is safe to learn and grow from their mistakes. It also saves time and creates a better work culture for all. While it might seem counterintuitive, vulnerability makes stronger leaders.” – COO Alliance
Being vulnerable as a leader benefits everyone in so many ways—improving communication, increasing creativity, and building a better work culture to name a few. A leader isn’t afraid of admitting their mistakes. It encourages the rest of the team to respect honesty and accountability.
A good leader has to be decisive. It sounds simple enough, but it turns out there are a lot of people out there who struggle to make decisions.
“Once they have made up their mind, they don’t hesitate to commit–it’s all hands on deck. They show great consistency with their decisions, rarely backing out or changing their minds unless it is absolutely necessary. Being decisive shows commitment, a quality very high in demand for a great leader.” – Inc
A good leader doesn’t second-guess themselves. They can’t. When a leader second-guesses themself it increases the chance of failure immensely. A leader that isn’t sure of their decisions doesn’t inspire anyone to make that decision succeed.
The Importance of Charisma
This is the hardest trait of a good leader to learn. A good leader needs to have charisma and a lot of that comes naturally. It’s the kind of personality that people are drawn to and inclined to listen to.
“Simply put, people are more likely to follow the lead of those they like. The best leaders are well-spoken, approachable and friendly. They show sincere care for others.” – Forbes
These traits create stronger leaders and therefore stronger companies. As a leader, it’s important to ask yourself, “Do I do these things?” and “Do I have these qualities?” If your answer is no, then you need to immediately ask yourself, “How can I fix that?”
Being a good leader is an on-going journey of self-development and growth. It’s not simply achieved overnight.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!