Taking on a leadership role can prove to be a complex and demanding challenge, as there will be people looking to you as the go-to person for guidance, wisdom, results, and complaints. Researchers have spent countless hours and years studying leadership to figure out what exactly differentiates a good leader from a great one, and what exactly makes a leader truly effective in his or her job.
The following four “pillars” are considered the key factors that make or break a leader:
Be an inspirational and ethical example to the company. – A truly exemplary leader does not ask their employees to do anything that they would not do themselves while striving to act as a positive role model in the office. The best leaders focus on the shared goals of the company rather than what they can personally gain from any situation. They are straightforward with their answers instead of playing games and are reliably honest with feedback. A great leader motivates their followers with a positive attitude and makes sure that the company goals are things that everyone will support.
Challenge employees to be better while also being supportive. – It is important that leaders challenge their employees to be the best versions of themselves while getting creative and pushing their boundaries. This, however, must be done in a working atmosphere where the employee knows that he or she is supported and will have guidance available if they need it. As a leader, you should use setbacks or failures as positive learning experiences instead of playing the blame game. Leaders should encourage their employees to take risks and push boundaries to improve themselves and forward the company as a whole.
Take the time to actually listen. – The most well regarded leaders take the time to not only have real conversations with their employees, but also truly listen to what they have to say. They show genuine interest in each individual’s needs, desires, performance, and personal development as well as their goals at your company. Your goal should be to produce other great leaders from your own employees. Listen to what they have to say about their roles, where they feel improvements or changes could be made, and give constructive responses that ensure that the employee feels valued and validated.
Never stop learning. – As a leader, you should never stop trying to be better and do better for your employees. By continually taking the time to improve your strengths and overcome your weaknesses in your own role in the company, you will be able to better handle the challenges of your role as they occur.
At Communispond, we have designed our leadership training courses around the idea that strong leaders make a strong company. Our interrelated programs are designed to not only develop a leader’s understanding of the impact of their managerial styles, but also how they can take action to help create a more effective workplace.