The main characteristic of all successful team-sports, religious, political parties, or business is that they have a good leader. Everything rises and falls on leadership. When we speak of leaders and leadership, we tend to think of celebrities or famous people but we all have the capacity to lead and therefore are leaders in our own right.
Leadership is influence and every single day, whether positively or negatively we are influencing another human being. If you are coaching little league, if you are influencing 3 or 4 people on the job or even your clients you are a leader. This important work not just because that’s how you make a living but because you are influencing another person’s life. As a leader you bring purpose and value to people’s lives.
We are all leaders.
Because we all have the ability to influence another person, it means we are all leadership in our own right. If you want to grow your organization, you have to grow your capacity to lead. You do that by learning, By practicing and developing the traits that make good leader you can grow your capacity to lead and thus grow your team.
Here are some of the traits that make a good leader:
Leaders are dreamers.
They have great personal vision and by extension they have a great vision for the team.
They understand that People are not motivated by small dreams and so they paint a huge challenging view of the future for their followers. In this way it is not easy to achieve and it forces the team to come out of its comfort zone and inspires them to stretch beyond its limitation.
The art of communication is the language of leadership. The leader has to be able to communicate the vision with passion. Not just from the intellectual head side but also from the emotional heart side. It is a fact that once people get emotional about where they are going then they start to eliminate some of restrictions they have in their minds.
Good communication is the ability to listen intently and to ask questions in order to deepen understanding and strengthen understanding. It is also being courteous and appreciative not just to clients but to employees as well.
The traditional way of thinking is that leaders must always be aloof. There had to be a gap between them and the team and that he or she never do any of the little things that would help the team to achieve its goal. That was seen as a sign of weakness. On the contrary I believe that that denotes power, for only a strong, powerful person would even consider giving up power but in so doing empowered those around him and in essence made the team far more effective and far more likely to reach if not supercede its goals.
A leader who gives of himself selflessly and helps others to explore their full potential and reach the pinnacle of their own power creates an environment where everyone is enriched by the accumulation and the magnitude of talents. True power is the art of making other people powerful and one of the sure fire sign of a good leader is that he develops other leaders.
Leaders need to have an internal guidance system, a moral compass, that I call integrity. The three qualities I just discussed can be taught but integrity is something that has to be ingrained in a persons make up over a lifetime of development. It is what separates a good leader from a great leader
Leaders of integrity hone organizations that are ethical in all they do which in turn attract good honest people who reflect the organization and in turn attract more clients. People want to be led by someone who maintains the highest ethical standards, not someone who is likely to cheat or deceive them or other. Unfortunately, we live in a world where lack of integrity is the name of the game proving to be quite costly to the team over the long haul. Simply reflect on the news coming out of the corporate world in recent years and you’ll see what I mean.
Although I defined leadership as influence note that to be a good leader is to be a person of good character. It is impossible to positively influence another person with flawed character. Developing the traits we discussed will ensure that your not only a good leader of others but of your self.
By John Hester