When you recall those times you were led well, what were some of the affirming behaviors that stood out to you in those leaders? Because leadership is about influence, we are all affected by leadership acting within our lives. We learn about leadership by reflecting and putting into practice those behaviors that we feel were constructive in our success. I share a few traits that I believe great leaders embrace based on my role models. Better leaders do the following:
- Create a productive work environment by reducing bureaucracy and minimizing roadblocks. Although they don’t do the work, they create an atmosphere where the team and its individuals can get their jobs done.
- Acknowledge and give credit to those who do the work. Credit can be recognized for effort, creativity, and results.
- Encourage and praise. Leaders are intentional in identifying and calling out specific things that warrant recognition. They don’t simply use flowery language such as “great job” but provide concrete examples that demonstrate that they recognize the value of the contribution.
- Never micro-manage but are liberal in their coaching. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team, brainstorm with its members, challenge with powerful questions, and ensure the team has the resources to tackle the job.
- Create a safe environment where people don’t feel threatened to take reasonable risks. They don’t focus on punishment and expect people to learn from their mistakes.
- Provide clear vision and objectives, set priorities, describe desired outcomes, and define appropriate boundaries. They understand the importance of helping the team to focus.
- Genuinely care about their teams. Leaders respectfully learn about the non-work lives of the people they support and have insight in how other life areas may influence job performance.
What leadership characteristics are you strongest? What weaknesses could you improve upon to grow your leadership? If you’ve identified another leadership trait that impressed you, tell me about it by leaving a comment.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help organizations engage all their employees. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.