Trust is an essential component of business. Just as a client needs to trust in its supplier, your people need to trust in their leader. Great leaders strive to know their people. They take the time every day to interact with their team, to answer their questions and listen to their concerns. Being open and approachable facilitates trust within the organisation, and instils people with the confidence that their leadership is looking out for them rather than watching over them.
Inspiring and Motivating
A great leader drives people to do better by creating a compelling vision of what success looks like. People who feel that their work matters are more motivated to do it well. Those who think they are making a genuine difference are more productive than people who believe they have reached a dead end. A leader needs to get their people to ‘buy-in’ to a vision of what the future holds.
Knowing When to Give Your People Space
A boss separates themselves from the team, barking orders from the back. A leader, leads. Only by getting stuck in can a leader genuinely understand their people. If you want people to buy-in to your vision, then you need to be at the forefront, showing them the way to reach it. At the same time, a leader needs to know when to take direction and step back a little. People do not want to be micro-managed to a suffocating level.
Leaders are accountable for the success and failure of their department. Consequently, they need an array of problem-solving skills. A great leader is highly analytical, confident and decisive but not gung-ho or reckless. Sometimes leaders need to roll the dice, but more often than not, they simply need to know when and how to step back and view the bigger picture.
Taking a Progressive View of Change
Just as the world is continually evolving, so to is business. Those who become too attached to the way things are done tend to steer their ship into stormy waters, sinking beneath the waves. Major corporations have disappeared due to a failure to adapt to the changing world. A great leader understands that tomorrow will not be the same as today. They are innovative and creative, always looking for ways their business can embrace the new, rather than run from it.
Developing New Leaders
Weak leaders are slow to recognise the potential of others. The worst leaders are jealous of those who demonstrate leadership abilities, fearing replacement. Great leaders seek to harness the drive, ambition and talent of those who demonstrate the potential to lead their business. Leaving your ego at the door and putting others first is a way to build strong relationships, but moreover, it is a commitment to the future success of the business.