Guest Post by Martha Buckly
As the saying goes, great leaders are born, not made. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Nelson Mandela may have had brains that were wired differently, according to a new study. In particular, they had more gray matter in the parts of their minds that control decision making and memory, which could account for their superior leadership skills.
With that said, there is ample evidence that suggests leadership skills can be learned. Or, at the very least, there are numerous attributes and characteristics that all good leaders have in common. You might not become the next Alexander the Great by following these simple suggestions, but they should help you to run your department more successfully.
1. There’s no “I” in team
Some bosses let leadership go to their heads. They take advantage of the power they have over their subordinates. Good leaders, on the other hand, realize that they are simply part of a team and cannot succeed if they fail to get the most out of each and every one of their team members. There are many ways to motivate your team that does not include bribes or threats. In fact, good leaders get people to follow them simply by being honest.
2. Inspire your employees
One of the most magnetic qualities about all great leaders is that they have the rare ability to empower others through the strength of their character. They need not cajole or inveigle their employees to get them to do their bidding. Rather, they simply inspire them by setting a good example.
3. Actions speak louder than words
The most common concern of any employee who is suddenly thrust into a leadership position is that they won’t be able to rally the troops when they need to. Many of them have less than Kennedyesque public speaking abilities, which means they often avoid big speeches. But more often than not in a business setting, words are a bit overrated. Most employees get inspired by bosses that demonstrate commitment to their workers and the company through actions, not bravura speeches.
4. Give respect to get respect
Numerous studies have found the best bosses are the ones that do not play favorites. They treat all of their employees with respect, from the top executives to interns to temporary workers. As a result, their staff is far more likely to come to them with new ideas, inquires, or concerns. Being a leader absolutely necessitates that you stay in the loop and have your finger on the pulse of your business.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
Nobody can make the right decision all the time. Politicians, scientists, doctors, and other leaders stumble about as often as they succeed. But what separates them from others is that they never stop trying based on past missteps. Because they believe in their vision, they keep plugging away. That kind of dedication is infectious.
6. Image is important
In addition to giving respect, you must also have respect for yourself, or what the French call amour propre. This feeling of personal worth is reflected in everything you say and do and even how you dress, which brings us to our next tip.
7. Dress the part
In an age of internet billionaires that wear hoodies and flip flops to work, there is something to be said for a nice suit, both for men and women. Sure, the 20-year old tech wizard can get away with wearing whatever he wants, but most employees must dress for success if they want to get ahead.
8. Be a great mentor
As we mentioned earlier, leaders are only as good as the teams they lead. All great bosses leave something to posterity, i.e., they help develop the next generation of leaders. They do this by never saying no to any employee’s request for guidance, help, or support.
9. Always be honest
One of the many differences between a boss and a leader is that leaders don’t sugarcoat the truth. They are frank and honest with their employees, but never petty or mean. They will tell them exactly what they need to know to help their workers learn and grow.
10. Vision is everything
No, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs. But you must articulate an unambiguous vision for the future of your company. It could be something as simple as selling one million units of product or doubling revenues within five years…but it has to be clear and concise and every employee must understand it.
What additional characteristics would you add to develop your leadership inclinations?
Today’s post is written by Martha, who is a freelance writer currently collaborating with best custom writing. Martha has many years of writing experience and she is always keen on sharing her experience.