Five essentials of a leader
As Seth Godin rightly said, ‘Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.’ Being a leader has never been an easy task. But it’s a skill you can master to lead your team and business to greater heights. All you have to do is be willing to see that there’s always scope for improvement.
Leadership roles come with big responsibilities, where you have the chance to not only guide but also influence and mould your employees to cater to your core business objectives. You have to constantly be an example of what you preach and motivate your team through all the ups and downs. After all, that is the true test of your potential as a leader.
Here are five things every leader must excel in:
Show the Way
As important as it is to lead the way, it is equally important that you help your team visualise the goals. You must ensure that everyone in the organisation is clear about their role in reaching the firm’s goals and missions. If their task is vaguely explained to them, they will not have the clarity to complete their tasks. As a leader, you must clearly define your expectations and help your team see the big picture.
Communicate and Find Balance
We have to agree with John Maxwell here, ‘To add value to others, one must first value others.
Empathy is a trait that every leader should have. But you have to find a balance between being too emotional and too indifferent. Communicating with your team helps them realise that you do care. A simple gesture, like asking about their day or work struggles can go a long way in fostering a healthy work relationship.
If you are approachable as a leader, you will be able to understand the various facets of your business and its processes. This will enable you to make better-informed decisions as you will also know your people better. This goes a long way in building a rapport with people that are closely linked with your business. Be it your employees, partners, customers, shareholders, prospects or the media itself.
Walk the Talk
Your employees look up to you for direction and inspiration. If you are accountable and transparent about your tasks, it will be easier for them to follow suit. Good leaders take responsibility for any mistakes that they have committed and are willing to change things for the better without any ego. It is also important to be optimistic and give your employees hope to sustain their efforts.
As Arnold Glasow puts it, ‘One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.’ As a leader, you should look for unusual but extremely beneficial solutions that can turn tides! Thinking out of the box should come naturally to you, or you can read, learn and practice to reach a place where ideas and solutions just flow. Creativity also helps you to be more adaptable, agile and open-minded. The trick is not let your comfort zone or the fear of failure get to you.
Being self-aware always helps understand your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the amount of effort you have to put in to be a great leader. After all, it’s not in some of us, but in all of us to be a better version of ourselves.