When you are an effective and successful leader, you have the ability to inspire and to lead a crowd of people on to victory and achievement. The path that leader treads can be a difficult one at times, but ultimately a leader is rewarded when they see the people they mentor, coach and inspire, go on to achieve great things themselves. There are many people who are the ‘boss’ of certain companies but who are not effective leaders. When you are given a title, you only have that title. You can be a great leader but not have the title of boss or manager, and you can also be a boss without possessing any qualities of a leader!
So what is it that makes a leader, a leader? What is is that allows some people to motivate us and to compel us to act? An effective leader is someone who inspires others to move in the same direction, because without leadership, people pare off and work without synchronicity. This leads to wasted time and efforts and can be wholly demoralising for a team or individuals to work with. A leader is a vital part of the success of a team, and is an important part of your business or company. The great news is that leaders can be made (as well as born). To be a leader, you must inspire others through your actions and words – and we’d love to teach you some tips on how to lead. So take a look at these traits and see if you can apply some of them to your life.
They’re unflinchingly positive (and genuine)
When you’re a leader, you often have to keep the proverbial together while people around you might be panicking or unsettled. You need to be able to find the bright side of anything, and to know that it’s important to be positive in the face of challenges. Problems are always going to happen – but it’s how you manage the problems that makes the difference between a boss and a leader. If you want to inspire people, show them the light at the end of the tunnel.
They appreciate their team
We’ve all been there — working until we’re run ragged for a boss or company and it seems like everything you do goes unnoticed or unappreciated. It doesn’t feel great at all. Leaders who don’t show appreciation for their staff put their business at risk because they’re not nurturing their most valuable asset. It could be something as simple as a birthday card or a cake, or even just an email to say thank you for work on a project or sprint. People do notice, and people do appreciate the effort.
They have a vision
Think of the leaders that inspire from our generation – people like Obama or Martin Luther King Jnr. These people had a vision so clear to them, and through their words, actions and deeds, they were able to sculpt this perfect vision for their followers. For people to be inspired by you, they need to know where you’re going and how to get there.
They listen to people
Now don’t get it twisted – hearing isn’t the same as listening. A leader is someone who actually listens to what is said and then takes action. They don’t just pretend to hear things and then do nothing – they take all feedback and thoughts on board and take action on the things that matter.
They can communicate (really well)
As a leader you need to be able to express what you’re thinking and feeling succinctly and accurately. If you can’t, people will struggle to figure out what you’re trying to say and won’t be able to become part of your vision! You need to ensure that every time you communicate something that you know what you’re saying, what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it! If you feel like you muddle up things that you want to say, or that you don’t get your point across in an accessible manner, perhaps you can try running a speech by a trusted friend, or getting coaching from a mentor.
They can be trusted
No matter if they’re working with customers or staff, a great leader can be trusted. You know that if they say they’re going to do something, they’ll do it. A leader inspires people by being honest and by living and leading with integrity. You really only have a couple of chances with people before they stop believing you. When you see someone being honest, you’re more likely to hitch your wagon to theirs.
They got passion
A great leader is all of the things above – and they’re bloody excited about it too. When work is a chore it doesn’t feel so great. When work is a thing fuelled by passion, it becomes that much more rewarding. A great leader knows that even the most mundane of tasks – provided it contributes to the goal – is worth doing – and doing well. Keep your passion and vision at the front of your mind, and be passionate for people about their goals too.
Do you think you’re ready to apply these qualities to your life, and to your leadership? Take a look at the accidental counsellor course from Pure Magic business to discover how to lead without burning yourself out or depleting your resources.