Sep 26 2012
Strong leadership is essential to small business success. A small business, like any other commercial entity that is looking to survive and thrive, wants to be known for being good at something. And usually the personality of a company mirrors that of the owner or leader of the firm. The ability to exhibit great leadership qualities will have a direct influence on the company’s operation and ultimately its reputation.
In all industries, not just the service sector, the key to gaining customer loyalty and continued patronage is quality service. This idea of serving clients is also important in leadership. The very best leaders also serve — they serve their stakeholders, their followers, their mission, and their team’s objectives.
Top 10 Attributes of Good Leaders
There are many attributes of a good leader, but here are the top ten that come to mind.
1. Inspirational Influence
This can be an executive, a pop star or an employee who has the ability to inspire coworkers’ thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions.
2. Relationships Come First
Successful leaders not only build networks, but they also nurture the connections they make.
3. Seeing the Big Picture
Successful leaders know how their life’s work fits into a broader, more significant context.
4. Use Humor
Successful leaders deal with tough stuff, but they fight back with humor.
5. Lead and Live with Their Strengths
The most effective leaders invest in their strengths, surround themselves with the right people to maximize their team, and understand their followers’ needs.
6. Manage Negative Thinking
First, they focus their time and energy on things they can control. Second, they know that “this too shall pass.” And, they don’t let adversity in one area seep over into others.
7. Communicate Goals and Objectives Well
They are good at rallying people and supporters together to accomplish a common goal.
8. Make Their Own Luck
Successful leaders pursue goals with passion, they don’t back down from challenges, they don’t allow a failure to define who they are as a person, and simply put, they don’t quit.
9. Good Stress Management Skills
In order to maintain and maximize their energy for optimal performance, successful leaders know when to rest and refill their tank.
10. Understand Two-Way Communication is a Must
From the leader’s vantage point, employees know most, if not all of the problems associated with their work and workflow. A strong leader will encourage employees to communicate what they know about problems, potential problems and how to mitigate them. The same goes for improvements in products, services and procedures.
My favorite perspective: “Great leaders possess dazzling social intelligence, a zest for change, and above all, vision that allows them to set their sights on the “things” that truly merit attention.” Via psychologytoday.com
The job of leading an organization, (or a military unit, or a nation), and doing so effectively, is fantastically complex. For someone to be born with all of the tools needed to lead just doesn’t make sense based on what we know about the complexity of social groups and processes. Luckily, many of the necessary skills can be learned.
For the most part, leadership development is a long-term and incremental process. We know the building blocks of leadership success, and it is clear that devoting time and energy to your personal development pays off. So what steps can you start taking today to make your leadership style a success?