We’ve all heard the old adage, “Great leaders are born, not made”. While there may be some innate leadership qualities that some of us are born with, I am not a firm believer that one can be birthed into this world with inherent characteristics of an all around kick-butt head honcho. Great leaders are developed over time.
Most CEOs and entrepreneurs with remarkable leadership qualities started out in ordinary, entry level positions and, with time, cultivated their attributes throughout their transition toward management. Leadership skill-sets are attained through experience, research, observation, seeking advice from others, and learning from one’s own successes and failures. So what are the keys to becoming an inspiring leader?
1. Earn trust. In order to be a successful leader, you MUST have the trust of your employees. You cannot run a business without the backbone of your company, your loyal employees. And you cannot gain their trust if you are not worthy of their trust. The rules of earning trust are simple; treat your employees with respect, show interest in their lives without prying, show interest in the success of their career path and help them to succeed within the company, and be respectful when you must address any mistakes that have been made. When there is mutual trust in the workplace, things will run much more efficiently.
2. Be honest. This covers a wide range of details. Be honest with who you are and don’t try to change your personality at the workplace. People will pick up on it and find it to be disingenuous. Be honest with your team and communicate effectively, whether it be positive or negative subjects. Face up to challenges and trust in yourself and your employees to be able to handle whatever those challenges may be.
3. Be confident. This one cannot be stressed enough. As a leader, your job is to keep up team morale. If you are not confident in yourself, why would your team be confident in your ability to lead? Even in times of doubt, it is your job to assure your employees that all companies have minor setbacks and set forth a plan to get back on schedule. Never let ‘em see you sweat!
4. Have a positive attitude. Remember that you want your office to have a positive and upbeat atmosphere. You also want your employees to be happy in their place of work and to stay motivated toward the ongoing success of the company. Don’t forget to have a sense of humor and have a little bit of fun at the office as well. Have a game day or go out for drinks as a team after work. Stay close as a team and stay motivated to make the company a success.
5. Inspire. Great leaders are able to motivate and inspire others. Not only can they inspire others to help their own company to succeed, but they inspire others to follow their dreams of success, as well. Most extraordinary leaders will tell you that they were inspired by another extraordinary leader that they worked either under or close by.