AUTHORED BY CHUCK LYLES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER @ GUIDEIT
A good leader is always striving toward bettering themselves as an individual and approaching every task with an attitude of servitude. The only way you are going to know what your team needs from you in order to be more successful is to listen to them. Successful teams perform much better when they know they have confidence that you chose the right team to get the job done.
Listening, possessing confidence, and respect for, and in, your team are only a few traits that make up a great leader. But leaders must also work toward bettering themselves as individuals if they want their team to listen, respect, and have confidence in them. It works both ways. Leaders must not only make a call to action to their team for these qualities, but they must make a call to action for themselves which requires lifelong tuning.
Extraordinary leaders take responsibility for everyone’s performance, including their own. They follow up on all outstanding issues, check in on employees, and monitor the effectiveness of company policies and procedures. When problems arise, they identify them quickly, seek solutions, and get things back on track.
Strong leaders treat people the way they want to be treated. They are extremely ethical and believe that honesty, effort, and reliability form the foundation of success. They embody these values so overtly that no employee doubts their integrity for a minute. They share information openly and avoid spin control.
The best leaders guide employees through challenges, always on the lookout for solutions to foster the long-term success of the organization. Rather than making things personal when they encounter problems, or assigning blame to individuals, leaders look for constructive solutions and focus on moving forward.
A great leader conducts themselves in a way that sets them apart from their employees–not in a manner that suggests they are better than others, but in a way that permits them to retain an objective perspective on everything that’s going on in their organization.
All leaders must make tough decisions. It goes with the job. Extraordinary leaders must possess a high level of independence and execute difficult and timely decisions made in the best interests of the entire organization. Many decisions require a firmness, authority, and finality, but an extraordinary leader also knows when not to act unilaterally but instead foster collaborative decision-making.
Human dignity, personal responsibility, and humility should always be at the forefront of a good leaders thoughts and executions, and it takes daily conditioning and effort.
The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. —Warren Bennis