Leadership is a skill. Many people appear to be “born leaders” while others emerge and develop over time. In either case, each become better by knowledge, understanding, and action. As in sports, practice and training pay off in the end. As a business, your best investment is in great leadership. What are you doing to develop yourself and/or others to a higher level?
It’s not always just one person in a “leadership” role, it can be a team. Leadership is not a position; it is a combination of actions over time. Kimberly Fries, a Forbes contributor, recently spelled out the “8 Essential Qualities That Define Great Leadership”:
1. Sincere enthusiasm
True enthusiasm for a business, its products, and its mission cannot be faked. Employees and team members can recognize insincere cheerleading from a mile away. Be real!
Whether it is giving proper credit for accomplishments, acknowledging mistakes, or putting safety and quality first, great leaders exhibit integrity at all times. They do what is right, even if it is not the best thing for the current project or the bottom line.
3. Great communication skills
Leaders must motivate, instruct, and guide the people they lead. It is difficult to accomplish any of these things if they are not skilled communicators.
The best leaders understand that true loyalty is reciprocal. Because of this, they express loyalty in tangible ways that benefit their team members.
A good leader is not simply empowered to make decisions due to their position. They are willing to take on the risk of decision-making.
6. Managerial competence
Too many organizations try to create leaders from people who are simply good at their jobs. Being good at one’s job does not prove that someone possesses the other competencies they need. For example, can they inspire, motivate, mentor and direct?
A good leader has faith in their ability to train and develop team members under them. Because of this, they have the willingness to empower those they lead to act autonomously.
Simply put, people are more likely to follow the lead of those passionate people who they like. The best leaders are well-spoken, approachable and friendly. They project sincere care for others.
Each of these qualities is essential to great leadership. Without them, leaders will not live up to their full potential, and neither will their teams.
As always, the FSBDC is here to help you with this and other business-related questions. If you would like consultation or guidance, contact me directly.