For the last few weeks I have worked with a number of clients to make critical executive level appointments. So what makes a good leader? I am not talking about the ability to strategically influence complex agendas, but rather the key qualities every good leader should possess such as honesty, the ability to delegate, communication skills, a sense of humor, commitment, innovation, and the ability to inspire others!!
The bar needs to be high in regards to honesty. Your work unit is a reflection of you, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.
The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. If people like what they do they will be better at it, so learn to trust your team.
Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate what you want your team to do, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.
Things don’t always go according to plan. Part of your job as a leader is to put out fires and maintain team morale, staying calm and confident, will ensure your team feels the same.
If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality outcomes, you’re going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else.
Its important to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the business. Whether that means saying good morning or actually being interested in others’ lives, or even just an occasional wine in the office, its important to remember that everyone on your team is a person.
Decisions will not always be clear-cut and as leaders we are forced at times to deviate from the set course and make decisions on the fly. This is where innovation and the ability to think outside the box is key to success.
When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk, the higher the pressure. That is where your natural intuition has to kick in.
Inspiring your team and ensuring everyone feels invested in the accomplishments of the business is critical. Generating enthusiasm for the hard work is so important. Remember a business is only as good as its people.
So being a good leader is one thing, but it is even more important that you emphasize these qualities to those who are making the hiring decisions.