Pretty much anyone likes to believe they are a "LEADER" but when you look under the hood there is a difference between having people do what they are told and actually being a leader. Being a leader is not a one-way street, leadership has many dimensions and takes many directions. The difference between having people that follow instruction because you say so and leading people yields dramatically different results. People who are told what to do… do it, people who are led, do what they do with purpose. So, what makes a good leader?
Ask anyone from Brain Tracy to Richard Branson and there are really 5 things a good leader has, demonstrates and continues to develop that people who merely instruct do not have or only have in part.
Good Leaders are honest
Above all, a good leader has to be honest and must always demonstrate integrity. A good leader needs to be believed in and trusted in. Without trust no one will follow. Telling the truth, even when things are not good will always win more followers and their respect than lying or avoiding the truth. Have you ever watched someone get out of a lie? It is so much easier to tell the truth and if that means conveying bad news then so be it. Being honest is a strength, and a good leader will use this to his or her advantage to help the rest of the team.
Good Leaders are Confident
A good leader needs to confident in his or her ability. Even when facing the toughest challenge or worst bad news, confidence must shine through. Nervous or shy leaders rarely inspire their team and the team of course goes nowhere. Confidence, even in the face of complete failure will always inspire others and a confident team is a winning team. Confidence is also addictive!
Good Leaders are passionate
Being passionate comes with having confidence, each fuels the other. Always wanting the best result, the best for each team member and finding ways to deliver this is what separates a person who instructs from a leader who drives forward. Passion about the job at hand, passion about seeing a team or person succeed and passion for life itself are powerful magnets that leaders can use to drive home outstanding results.
Good Leaders Communicate
One of the biggest faults of poor leaders is their inability to communicate. Good leaders know how to communicate, and excellent leaders have mastered this. At the heart of any team achievement lays communication. Delivering clear instruction and listening to the feedback from others on the team is a clear distinction between a good leader and someone who thinks they are a leader. Good leaders are not patronising, and they ensure their entire team is on the same page and knows what is happening and what their individual role is. A good leader also knows what is going on and can pass information on further up the chain of command.
Good Leaders Get Down
Good leaders get down. No, they don’t get down and “Jiggy” with it they show compassion and get down to understand and meet the needs of their team. The best leaders know the ins and outs of their team better than anyone and make it their responsibility to do so. Without compassion and a soft heart inside the passionate, driven body a team becomes sterile and the natural human creativity, human empathy and diversity of people falls away and the team can miss the mark. Showing empathy and compassion is not a sign of a weak leader. No, compassion is a sign of the absolute best leader because his or her team really matters!
ARE YOU A GOOD LEADER? :)