By Amanda Creter
Whether you are just beginning your journey into Leadership, or whether you have been leading a team for a while now, a great leader strives to set themselves apart from the rest. These leaders attract and retain the best talent. But what is it about the great leaders out there that makes them stand out from the rest? And how do you take yourself, and your business to the next level where great leaders reside? Here are 5 areas they have come to master that set them apart from the crowd.
Made to Inspire: All of the great leaders are able to inspire their people. They have a goal in mind, a vision they want to bring to fruition, and they convey that vision to those linked to them in such a way that they see it too. The ability to inspire your staff with the same fire and passion you have, will make it easier to achieve those dreams. Many working towards the same goal that believe in it as well is the foundation of success.
Great Communicators: You may know exactly what your goal is and how you need to go about achieving it. But if you can’t effectively communicate it to your team, how are they supposed to know the direction you want them to be taking? You may think you are communicating effectively, but that isn’t always the case. If tasks are being completed the way you envisioned them being done, then you may have already mastered the ability to communicate successfully. If you think they may be having a hard time understanding what you are communicating, be frank and ask them. If you can’t communicate your vision, then you can’t inspire your people.
Know When and How to Delegate: If you have mastered inspiring and communicating with your team, then it’s time to delegate the workload. Your entire operation will run more smoothly if you can hand out tasks to your team and know that you have been able to communicate how you want them done, and they see your vision clearly enough to execute those tasks without needing to be micromanaged or having their hand held. Great leaders are not afraid to take risks by allowing their team the chance to shine. “At Lucasfilm, superboss George Lucas trusted his team to define the characters, set designs, and sounds of the original Star Wars movie. He didn’t micromanage. But he did check in periodically and personally to test employees’ inventions against his vision. Because he was so clear about what really mattered — his vision — he could more easily cede control over all else” Harvard Business Review
Stay Flexible: Sometimes, aspects of your vision may not be attainable. Instead of stubbornly sticking to your plan that isn’t working, be open minded to other ideas. Tweaking parts of your business or plan that isn’t working doesn’t mean admitting failure. It’s knowing when it’s time to be flexible so that you can succeed. FUBU CEO Daymond John said “One of the biggest myths is that good business leaders are great visionaries with dogged determination to stick to their goals no matter what. It’s nonsense. The truth is, leaders need to keep an open mind while being flexible, and adjust if necessary. When in the startup phase of a company, planning is highly overrated and goals are not static. Your commitment should be to invest, develop and maintain great relationships.”
Keep it Positive: Things are going to go wrong. Show me one example of a business or team that has had smooth sailing every step of the way? Chances are you can’t, it’s not the way life works. You will have set backs, and when that happens, you will have a team looking to you to show them the way. Lead them by example. It’s how you handle the downs that will set you apart. Keeping your employees positive is essential to productivity. So if this means the occasional office treat (like bringing lunch in), or taking everyone out one Friday a month, do it. A happy team is a healthy team, and if you go out of your way to stay positive and spread that positivity, they will notice.
Leverage the attributes you currently have that Great Leaders are known for and work on those that need attention to get you to the next level of leadership. You, your employees, and your business will be happy you did.