Leadership is really hot nowadays. But every leader is actually different. While some leaders will be very charismatic, loud and proud, others will be understated and calm. While some will be ‘by the book’, others will be creative and flexible in the way they work.
But while different leaders all vary and come in many shapes and sizes, there are certainly some prevailing features and traits that they seem to have in common. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make a great leader and some of the traits you should adopt or learn if you want to be better at leading in a large organization, a startup or a scaleup for instance.
A good leader should be responsible. That means you need to be able to take the flack when things go wrong and you need to be courageous enough to take risks and then take the flak when those risks go wrong. This is important because it ensures that your team feels safe and liberated to work their best, knowing that they answer only to one person who will protect their best interest.
A good leader should be knowledgeable. No one knows everything (and a good leader will be the first to admit this!) but you should certainly know the ins and outs of your industry and your work. The reason this is so important, is that it will mean that people can turn to you when they don’t know what to do. It also means you’ll be able to understand the basics of every part of your business, so that you can keep an eye on the bigger picture, build the best team and help every member of your team to work together seamlessly.
It is highly important that a good leader be calm. This means that you shouldn’t shout at insubordinate staff or teammembers and it means that you should never come across as stressed, scared or worried. A leader will always be a baraometer for the mood for their team. As soon as you lose it, the different teammembers or the whole team will start to panic. Even if you’re worried, make sure that you don’t project this outwardly.
Most of all, a good leader should be highly passionate. That means that they should believe strongly in what they’re doing and it means that they should understand the ‘why’ behind your organisation, behind your business. This is important because when you are passionate and you believe in your your team and your business, that means you can inspire others. Without this, you’ll be going through the motions and the entire team will be affected negatively.
Well, that was my first blog from a new series on ‘Leadership’ on this site. Read & bookmark these posts if you want to read more about Leadership.
Tony de Bree
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