Top 8 Qualities of Great Leaders
Small Business December 29, 2016 JD Mckenzie
As a business owner, you’re the leader of your team. If you want to build and keep a great team that is motivated to help you grow your business, you need to motivate and help your team grow.
Being an effective leader is more than just giving out orders. You need to work hard to inspire your team through creating behaviours, habits and mindsets to succeed. You need to build trust, and confidence in your team so that they can trust and have confidence in you.
Here are the top 8 qualities of great leaders that you, as a business owner, can aspire to embody.
1. Empower, Don’t Manage
There are those who manage, and then those who lead. Managers tell people what to do, and micromanage tasks. Leaders get the most out of your team. Simply put, telling people what to do and expecting results doesn’t cut it. Your team is more than just tools at your disposal. They are people, and people need to have confidence and feel like their work has an impact.
Leaders know this and allow their team to make decisions and channel their talents for success. Check out these 5 ways you can empower your team today.
2. Invest in Technology
Every business owner has a task list a mile long. Leaders make things easier by constantly keeping an eye out for new ways to increase their productivity. They use tools like HipChat or Slack, Dropbox or Google Drive and Daylite to gain more time back. This constant improvement increases their productivity and gives them more time to focus on inspiring their team by achieving great results, and not just moving through their to do list.
3. Embrace Honesty
Being a leader means your team needs to trust in you. Honesty can be feedback on their performance, work habits as well as why certain decisions have been made. Good or bad, this honest feedback shows that you have confidence in your team to listen, understand and move forward in a positive direction.
Your team will see that you have respect for them and they will return that respect with an unwavering belief that you have their best interests in mind. Employees have faith in the leaders they follow. A leader who is not honest will lose legitimacy in the eyes of followers.
4. Show Appreciation
82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift according to a recent study done by Officevibe. This plainly shows that when you appreciate the work your team does, the effect can go a long way. That will help you improve the quality of work and productivity from your team. Great leaders search for opportunities to praise individuals in front of ‘the higher ups,’ for high fives and even to simply say thank you.
5. Remain Consistent
As a business owner, what you say and what you do changes the lives of those who work for you. Instead of saying one thing and doing another, leaders work hard to be consistent, consistently. Without a consistent relationship, your team will not feel confident in your actions or decisions and will have more stress worrying about what changes are coming next. Your team wants to have a predicable experience, know what the expectations are and the results.
6. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is an essential skill all business owners need to have. Planning ahead allows you to assess risk and opportunities and be more proactive. Your planning helps your team understand what direction they are headed, when, and how they need to get there.
By planning ahead, your team will be less stressed and better equipped to achieve the high standards you set out. Here is a great exercise that only takes 18 minutes that you can do every day help you plan ahead.
7. Stay Agile & Improvise
That being said, great leaders also know how to go off script. We all face unexpected set-backs or interruptions no matter how well we’ve planned ahead. Being flexible, able to roll with the punches and excel in the face of change is a regular part of every day.
Instead of being upset about timetables being messed up, frustrated over new challenges or freeze in the face of change, they improvise, adapt and overcome.
8. Continuously Improve
At the end of the day, we are just people, with our strengths and weaknesses – business owners included. The difference between a leader and a manager is a leader works to identify, accept and improve upon their weaknesses. They read books about how to improve their leadership skills or enhance their processes. They spend their own time taking courses because they recognize that self-improvement is a personal journey. And maybe above all, they listen to feedback from their team because they have committed themselves the best they can be.
By following these 8 qualities, you can become a better leader so you can inspire and grow your team and your business.