Great leaders may have many different personality types, but many of them have similar characteristics. Here are some of them:
If you want to inspire your staff to believe in your vision, you need to be passionate about it. If you don’t seem like you believe what you are saying, why should they? No matter how dire the outlook or how formidable the task at hand, you will have a better chance of getting your staff on board by having a positive outlook.
Don’t be arrogant
Some leaders seek to motivate through fear or ridicule. They know it all and their staff is lucky to be employed. While it is more important for a leader to be respected than loved, respect still has to be earned. And in a typical workplace, respect should be mutual. If you micromanage your staff, you are telling them that you don’t trust them to do the job properly on their own. If staffers are not given the chance to own their work and take pride in their achievements, they may be less productive and motivated. A good leader is able to delegate.
Your staff went the extra mile to get the project done on time and under budget. If you take them for granted, they may not be so motivated the next time, particularly if you grab all the credit for yourself. Let your staff know that you recognize and appreciate their efforts and that their achievements deserve to be praised.
When there is a setback, don’t simply blame your staff. A good leader does not impulsively point fingers. Your staff needs to know that you have their backs in good times and bad. Part of your responsibility is to determine how the setback occurred, and you may ultimately need to hold someone accountable. But by taking responsibility initially, you are letting your staff know that they will be treated fairly, rather than automatically assigned blame whether they deserve it or not.
Communication is not a one-way street. Have an open-door policy so that your staff feels free to express their ideas or concerns. You don’t have all the answers – maybe someone on your team has some good insights. And you will be better off learning about their concerns in order to figure out what actions, if any, should be taken to address them.
Be open to change
It would be great if the circumstances that existed when you devised your plan would remain fixed, but that’s not how the world works. Change is inevitable. You can deny it, fight it, or embrace it and lead your staff confidently into the challenges of the future. If you need help coming up with ways to change, you might want to talk with an executive coaching professional. To find out more about executive coaching, click here.