Being in charge does not make you a leader. Leadership is the ability to do more than manage, but to grow, develop and lead your team, employees, and organization in the direction you set. Leadership is a quality that takes development. While there are many different types of leaders, all of them possess these ten key qualities.
It’s hard to follow someone who lacks integrity. Leaders always tell the truth and always keep their promise, even when it hurts.
You must first demonstrate your trust in people by making yourself vulnerable before you can expect them to place their trust in you.
Respect means having genuine care and concern, honoring different opinions. If you really don’t care about your people they will sense your lack of concern and will not respect you.
Treat all employees fairly and equally (including family members) regardless of your personal feelings. When you set policy and procedures, you must hold everyone to them. Your employees will respect your decisions when they know that you seek to be fair.
To be a true leader, you must have an unfaltering vision, be able to communicate it to your people, and get them to understand and share in your vision.
You must always be positive and confident that the company will succeed; but you should also be realistic.
A leader must make decisions and stick with them as long as they make sense. Consensus is not always better than an individual decision, particularly in a crisis situation. Remember, “The buck stops with you!” Trust your intuition. Intuition draws upon your experience, stored knowledge and information you may not even realize you have in your head.
You must “practice what you preach” or you will have little credibility.
Insist on mutual respect, courtesy and cooperation among your people. This fundamental attitude was crucial in shaping our nation and is also essential to build your company.
Remember that authority is not vested in your position as “the boss.” Authority resides with the people who report to you and they have the power grant it to you or not.
These ten qualities form the bases of a true leader. Much has been written about leadership and you should make the time to learn how to be a more effective leader.
More Great Reads: