The world is full of good leaders. But what makes a great leader? What are the qualities that cause certain men and women to lead their teams from merely doing a good job to achieving something great? What is it about them that not only attracts highly competent people, but inspires them to go above and beyond and achieve greatness?
1. An attractive attitude. People today are looking for hope. They have enough disappointment and negativity in their lives. If you are a gloomy, complaining, pessimistic person you will be regarded as another toxic influence to be avoided, especially by healthy, optimistic, high-achieving people. But if you demonstrate a can-do attitude of joyful optimism and confidence, you’ll inspire hope in others and be regarded as life-giving and empowering. High-achievers understand the importance of having such people in their lives and will be attracted to you. They will see you as a source of encouragement and strength in their life that will take them higher in their pursuit of greatness.
2. A compelling vision. People need a sense of purpose. Everyone is searching for significance and has a need to be a part of something greater than themselves. Nowhere is this truer than with high-achievers. They need to know their work matters and is making a difference. Leaders who want great team members must communicate their vision with clarity and passion. They must be compelling, not simply by describing what the future looks like, but by inspiring people to see the significant role they play in the vision—that, in fact, the vision cannot be accomplished without that person’s specific, individual abilities and presence.
3. A smart management style. People today are looking, not only for good leaders, they want capable managers. Unfortunately, not all leaders are good managers and not all managers are good leaders. But the best leaders are also capable managers. They understand, not only the long term vision, but the immediate goals that need to be achieved to reach that vision. As well, they are able to articulate those goals in an inspiring way, connect people to those goals and coach them through the process of successfully achieving them. These leader/managers are exciting. Because of their confident ability to identify goals and coach people toward successfully achieving those goals, they fill their team members’ lives with victories and a sense of personal fulfillment.
4. A motivating environment. People need to be inspired. Without inspiration, work becomes monotonous and mundane. It’s nothing more than a series of routines that one tolerates until the task is done. Great leaders are able to inspire people. In other words they understand what motivates people internally. They know what people need to hear, see and receive to keep them excited about their work and personally fulfilled. It can be as simple as a sincere compliment, a genuine thank you, a public recognition or a team award. Whatever it takes, the leader keeps the culture of his team lively and exciting by keeping his people motivated and inspired.
5. A high standard. Good people want to be challenged. They’re not looking for the easy way out or the path of least resistance. They work hard and want to know that their hard work is contributing to a worthy cause. If they are not given assignments that challenge them or cause them to achieve higher goals or better themselves, they will be left feeling insignificant and unfulfilled. While leaders should not be overly demanding, neither should they be apologetic for giving difficult assignments. Instead, leaders should convey the value of the task to the organization’s objectives. Raise the standard, but help workers to appreciate the importance of the assignment as a crucial to the mission of the team.
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Character in Leadership
The Trust of Leadership
Ethics in Leadership
Leading through Crisis, Conflict and Change
Dealing with Difficult People
Resisting Corruption in Leadership
Prepared for Promotion
Leadership for the Next Level
Building a Winning Team
Hope for the Toxic Leader
Leadership from the Second Chair
The Ten Mistakes Leaders Make
Sexual Integrity in Leadership
Credibility through Accountability
20/20 Vision for Leadership
How the Mighty Fall
The Ten Commandments of Success
Core Competencies for the 21st Century
and much more