Leaders can be transformational, autocratic, democratic, servant, and Laissez-faire. You need to understand what distinguishes them and what their common qualities are that make them great leaders.
The success of any organization depends on the ability of its leaders to influence those around them to achieve common goals. With the year 2020 ending, many business owners are optimistic that they will adapt to the changing business environment and achieve employee success in 2021 through good leadership. Here are seven leadership qualities of all great leaders.
Integrity is one of the most important qualities of great leadership that entails exhibiting ethical behavior and being an example to others. People may not follow a leader unless they can trust them for guidance and influence. A great leader can influence and motivate others to work towards the achievement of organizational goals. When employees recognize that their leader is ethical with no self-motives, they become more certain that they can exercise kindles.
Employees understand that when their leader exercises a high level of integrity, they can treat them well and do their best for the business. Leaders with integrity can make a business strong and cause it to have a good reputation against the rivals in the industry.
HR experts say that integrity in leaders helps a business attract more customers, investors, suppliers, and talented professionals vital for the long-term growth of a business. Great leaders can be considered as valuable assets to organizations because they tend to be more effective than those who don’t exercise this trait.
Integrity, characterized by ethical behavior, begins with top leaders and scales down to the subordinates. When top leaders have integrity, even when the subordinates will occupy the leadership positions in the future, they are likely to follow suit. Leaders should understand that their actions, methodologies, words, and decisions can create the true values and culture of an organization.
Great leaders remain focused on company needs, and they always try to assess situations that may create an environment of meeting the common goals. They focus on what themselves and other employees can achieve and therefore are result-oriented. Therefore, they don’t micromanage but remain focused on the broader picture of the business.
Great leaders identify their strengths and those of others and try their best to make use of them to achieve target results. They also focus on the organization’s strengths and what the company does best to meet the customers’ needs in a highly competitive market. Great leaders can influence others to remain focused on doing what is best by using the resources optimally.
By remaining focused, leaders can improve their innovative ability and emotional intelligence, thereby making them better in managing the organization. Leaders who focus on the wider world tend to excellent communication skills that are important for influence.
They are smart in limiting the information they receive and use for decision-making at any time. Therefore, they recognize that absorbing a large amount of data may make them overwhelmed and hence hinder them from making quality decisions.
Leaders who are focused can divide tasks and pursue them depending on their relative importance. They can identify and pay attention to the most important tasks so that no matter the circumstances, they must accomplish them within the stipulated time.
Great leaders can create, articulate, own, and drive a vision to completion. They have a very exciting and clear idea of where they want to go and how to get there to achieve excellent results. Business writers mention that great leaders are driven and motivated by what a company can accomplish in the future or what it can become. Their primary task is to move the company to another broader direction in the future by promoting unity in uncertain conditions.
A visionary leader should not only have a clear vision, but should also communicate it with passion and clarity to inspire and motivate people to take action. The one who communicates their vision well can motivate employees to work passionately, thus contributing to the achievement of common organizational goals. Great leaders embrace vision as a motivational and inspirational tool for their employees.
Great leaders think of challenges they are facing within their department or organization and try to imagine the bigger picture because challenges can be overcome with management skills.
They visualize future success that can be realized from the improved situation and consider how employees and the organization can benefit. They then determine the most effective way of communicating their vision to the other employees and motivate them towards the realization of that vision.
Humility is the ability to admit that you are not always right, neither are you perfect in decision-making, and you may not feel threatened as a result of other people’s input. It means you have self-awareness and self-confidence and recognize that others may be valuable to the organization.
It doesn’t mean that you are not sure of who you are or that you are weak.
Great leaders consider their subordinates important and therefore inspire them while carrying out their duties. Employees can see humble leaders as approachable, realistic, and easy to engage with. A humble leader can create loyalty bonds and create a culture of collaboration that is vital to team success. Therefore, humility is not a sign of weakness but rather is a pathway towards creating powerful teams by recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses.
Humility empowers team members to be innovative and inspires confidence, thus ensuring that the team’s efforts are focused on common goals.
A humble leader supports subordinates in decision making, hence showing confidence in them and building stronger teams. Such a leader can also give credit to the team members who achieve exceptional results without feeling threatened.
They can admit their mistakes and share them with others as they learn from them to improve performance in the future. Becoming a great leader requires deliberate efforts to cultivate humility, to motivate and influence others to achieve desirable results.
A great leader can foster a culture of cooperation by being committed to getting along well with them. Such a person can decide whether to accomplish a particular task or delegate it. This calls for the need to understand and take into account the view of others and affirming to them that their point of view is fully understood. Understanding critical feedback well and with minimal defensiveness is important to achieve cooperation in leadership.
A leader should respond with curiosity and openness when people disagree, thereby resolving conflicts with no favor or discrimination. The idea is to ensure that people don’t respond harmoniously and that the leader can pick ideas that can bring about productive outcomes.
In this way, the leader can share feelings in a believable and accessible way. Being cooperative can make a person model learning interests by creating an environment to teach the subordinates as they learn from them as well.
In cooperative groups where there is cohesion, a great leader recognizes the importance of being led sometimes. They can also keep promises, hence enhancing credibility and building trust among other employees. Such a leader can resist the temptation to force people to submit to their opinions without involving them. By doing so, such great leaders can influence others to work willingly and take responsibility for the decisions they make.
6. Strategic planning
Great leaders are good in strategic planning. They can document and establish business direction by assessing where the business is currently and where it will be in the future. They can look ahead to anticipate where markets and industries are headed.
The strategic plan forms the basis for recording the organization’s vision, missions, values, and ultimate goals. Good leaders can contribute towards business growth and long-term success because it communicates to employees how to respond to challenges and opportunities.
Strategic leadership is concerned with anticipating future trends in the markets so that the company can stay ahead of its competitors. Because of increased competition, only strategic leaders can enable an organization to attain a competitive edge over its rivals in the industry. Strategic leaders have strong communication skills because they already have a clear picture of what needs to be done through teamwork. They can effectively listen to the contribution of team members in pursuit of organizational goals.
Great leaders are passionate and committed to their mission, and they influence their subordinates positively. They achieve this by leading by example and cultivating a positive attitude towards work. Strategic leadership is based on honesty and deliberately choosing some strategies over others after critical evaluation. In this way, the leader remains transparent about their plans, progress, and overall results.
A good leader is willing and able to take risks as they work towards the attainment of goals under conditions of uncertainly. Since business success is not guaranteed, every commitment leaders make and any actions they take entails some kind of risk. Courageous leaders go against the ordinary and make decisions that may be subject to change as a result of changes in the business environment. Their boldness motivates and encourages their subordinates, energizes customers, and creates a pathway for a company to be a leader in the market.
Courageous leaders are authentic and can focus on self-improvement for the betterment of the organization. They are resilient in working towards finding solutions to problems in complex situations. They are also emotionally intelligent in the sense that they are willing and able to change, and hence they can enhance trustworthiness that is critical to employee motivation. Such people can lead under pressure when faced with a crisis and remain composed because they are self-disciplined.
Employees believe that authenticity may create better relationships at the workplace, lead to better productivity, and create a contusive working environment.
Businesses managed under courageous leadership can succeed in research and development endeavors, investments, and product pipelines. They record improved liquidity, success in change management, low staff turnover, and greater ability to execute strategies.
Great leaders influence others to work towards a common goal by exercising truthfulness and integrity, remaining focused, being visionary and humble. They gain cooperation from others, engage in strategic planning, and are courageous while making the organization’s decisions. Leaders who exhibit the above traits can take an organization to the next level by influencing employees to work towards a common profit or wealth maximization goal. Organizations under good leadership have strong financial performance and are strategically positioned against the competitors in the industry.
Charlie Svensson is a highly-experienced academic writer known for his speed and accuracy. His interest is in business management and related topics that include self-growth, training, communication and skill enhancement.