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If you take a look at the vast majority of the world’s business leaders, you’ll quickly notice that they have many traits in common. While they all come from different backgrounds – some grew up poor while others were raised up with business in their blood – they all share a common bond, and that’s that they know how to lead. Here are five traits to look for to see if you have what it takes to follow in their footsteps, courtesy of strategist Fahim Moledina.
Leaders are Encouraging
We have all heard horror stories of managers that bark orders. For obvious reasons, this does nothing to boost employee morale, and it can lead to poor production and a high turnover rate. But, leaders who have an optimistic attitude and spend their time encouraging growth instead of putting their employees down tend to be the most successful. These are the leaders that are demanding without being demeaning and push their employees to believe that success is not only possible but within their reach. Remember, your business is only as successful as your employees are happy.
Leaders Have Integrity
We’ve all heard of Enron, which is now defunct thanks to a huge scandal that came to a head in 2001. Its founder, Kenneth Lay, was found guilty of securities fraud and left behind a legacy of shame on the once-respected company’s name. Don’t be like Kenneth Lay.
Business leaders that want sustained success must have unchallenged integrity. CFO Selections explains that this means being honest, treating everyone the same, showing respect to others, and, importantly, keeping your commitments. In other words, show the same respect to the janitor as you do the CEO, and honour your word to each.
Leaders Have Exceptional Communication Skills
Have you ever walked into the office only to find out that you had a deadline changed without notice? If so, you’ve already been the victim of poor communication skills. When you lead others, you must be able and willing to keep them in the loop of the goings-on of your business. Learning how to communicate both in person, via email, and through active collaboration, is essential. Communicating helps you set clear goals and build a better team.
Conflict is inevitable, but the difference between a poor leader and a great leader is how they help to resolve the conflict. If you find that there is a lot of bad energy in your workplace as a result of complaining, criticising, or negativity, ask your leadership for help mediating the conflict. Then, take steps to remove the negative energy. Start by decluttering your area and cleaning using a naturopathy solution. You may even want to work with your office mates to redesign the space so it is more feng shui. All of these steps will help to reset the energy and get your team back on track.
Leaders are Always Willing to Learn
Never stop learning. As a business leader, this should be your ongoing mantra. The best leaders are never satisfied with knowing what they know in a given moment. Keep your skills sharp by reading books, listening to others with more experience than you, and listening to your employees from the bottom up. You can also participate in industry events or take classes in areas that put you outside of your comfort zone.
If you would like to learn more about how to be a great business leader or how to develop aspects of your business, like strategic plans or technology solutions, set up a consultation with strategist Fahim Moledina.
Of course, you put in lots of work and your business. But your success is built upon the backs of others just as well as yourself. Be a successful leader by learning how to rally. This means that you motivate your staff to put in their best efforts all the time. This might mean friendly competitions, honouring employee achievements, or simply being willing to jump in, roll your sleeves up, and handle the dirty work outside of the comfort of your corner office.
Being active makes a big difference, as well. Consider adding walking meetings to your repertoire. These are a great way to interact with your team members while also getting some fresh air. Also, just being active whenever possible – like walking instead of driving when you have errands to run – can help boost your energy levels so you’ll have that extra drive when you need it most.
Become the Leader Your Team Deserves
While these are not every possible quality you’ll need to be a great leader, they are a great start. Even if you lack one or more, these are all skills that you can build starting today. Remember, great leaders are born, they take what they are given and make the most out of themselves and their businesses.