Whether your taking on a new position within a company or even starting a new one, you’ll need developed leadership skills in order to progress they way you envision. Without leadership, your road becomes blockaded and the forward momentum of your career comes to a screeching halt. So, what does it mean to be a great leader? Well, here are a few characteristics that great leaders possess. Do you see any of these in yourself?
Confidence / Energy
Great leaders have the ability to maintain confidence and energy even through the most ambiguous of times. As the leader, you’re responsible to keep the vision in front of the team and when your confidence and energy toward the vision begin to wain, you can be certain that your team will lose their motivation as well.
Each person has a unique variation of personality and gifting. A great leader knows how to identify those and approach each person according to their uniqueness. Some want to receive a more cut and dry form of feedback and simply want tasks and deadlines. Others would prefer a more relational approach and may need to understand the why and not just the what of the project. Not everyone is the same and likewise shouldn’t be treated the same as everyone else. Great leaders know and practice this.
Communicate, Inspire, Influence
Being able to clearly communicate the vision and inspire people toward that vision is a sign of a great leadership. Leaders are able to get people to follow them into the future. If you don’t have anyone following you, you’re not leading anyone. These three attributes good hand in hand. In order to inspire people, you must have good communication skills. You need to be able to clearly relay what’s your head. Having a vision is simply not enough. You must then be able to communicate that vision in a way that inspires others. As communicate relates to inspiration, inspiration relates to influence. People who are uninspired by you will not likely give you permission to have influence over them. In order to gain the power of influence, you have to be someone that people are inspired by and if you’re not seeing this in yourself, it’s important to try and identify why.
Great leaders are not wishy-washy. They are committed to the vision and their passion is unable to be defeated. Leaders are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and accomplish the team’s goals, even if it means that they have to do it themselves. It’s not a sign of good leadership if the leader is always doing all of the work, but they must be willing to do so when necessary.
As mentioned before, a great leader isn’t doing all of the work because they know how to train others to do what they are doing. This is not about getting away from doing work, this is about elevating others and empowering them to grow and progress in their career and as individuals. This sounds counterintuitive, but when you elevate others to take on more responsibility, you in turn will also be elevated. When you empower others to do high-level work, their is elevated productivity toward the most important things. You’ll end up producing far more on a high level than if you tried to do all of the “big” tasks by yourself. Replacing yourself actually opens the door for bigger opportunity for you.