In our fast-paced environment, a person who can listen, motivate, direct, and delegate while balancing energy and humility is an invaluable asset to any company. The thing is, not everyone who is a great leader was born that way (obviously, some people have a natural predisposition to lead well). Most everyone can develop (or at least improve) those skills.
So what does it take to be a good leader? Here are 6 leadership virtues that great leaders should possess. Develop them in yourself, and become more than just a leader, become an amazing leader!
As a famous quote states, “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud”. That couldn’t be truer. An insecure leader will most probably be an attention seeker that is constantly looking for credit or praise (even when it’s undeserved).
Oddly enough, putting your ego aside and being humble improves leadership, both on a perception level and as a matter of substance. The more you brag, the more it seems like you are trying to cover up a lack of self-esteem. Insecurities can also lead to feelings of jealousy when faced with competition or others’ success, and the decisions taken with this mindset can wreck the company.
Setting aside ego is easier said than done, I know. But if you make a solid, honest effort at putting it aside, you’ll better manage your employees and notice their needs. It’s one of the best ways to empower them.
Regardless of your title, attitude is key when it comes to dealing with people. Even for the CIO responsible for IT, essentially 100% of the required tasks will involve people, not just technology. And because of that, it’s important to remember that people hear words but feel attitudes. That means that we can’t fake a negative attitude and expect to get away with it.
Does “It is not what you say, it is the way you say it” ring a bell? You can say something positive with a negative attitude and you will still end up being seen as a negative person. Because people feel it.
Here’s something to consider: If you complain about your employees not being motivated, then you may need to start leading by example. Be motivated yourself, be enthusiastic and share that wonderful energy. Have a “go-getter” mindset, show appreciation and always look forward. This will keep your employees going, make them look up to you and improve business performance.
Did I mention “communication"? I can’t stress it enough: It’s important to have good communication with your employees. First, you should start by sharing the strategic vision with your people in order to ensure the alignment of their personal goals with the overall business objectives. Furthermore, you should share the successes of the company with them. Who worked on the project? Who went above and beyond made it happen?
Recognition and acknowledgement are powerful tools for leaders to use in order to trigger employees’ intrinsic motivation and sense of belonging. Also, encouraging transparency is essential (and outright necessary, really) to promote ethical conduct throughout an organization.
Finally, communication is a rich source of collective insight. If the business is facing challenges, put the employees in the loop. they can offer you perspectives you may not have considered. It’s all incredibly valuable, even the advice you don’t use.
Delegating is not always the easiest thing to do for a leader. We all have that assumption that we can do everything by ourselves or better than anyone else. Truth is, it is impossible to be everywhere at the same time. Leaders need to learn how to delegate to the right people and to empower their teams in order to be more efficient and work smarter.
Potential leaders can be found anywhere in a company and it is the task of an existing leader to identify and mentor them. Your job as a leader doesn’t end with the things you do in the here and now. You also have to ponder your organization’s future. You have an incredible amount of valuable knowledge, but you will retire one day (right?).
Actively seeking to transfer expertise to the budding leaders of tomorrow is necessary to sustain the future health of your company! It is part of employee lifecycle management.
Patience is a virtue that few possess. We want everything and we want it fast. Leaders, more than anyone else, must be different in this regard. They must have patience. People are counting on you, so you need to remember to give yourself time to assimilate everything and to avoid burnout. Great leaders understand that wisdom is acquired through time and they embrace the journey as opposed to seeing it all as a big race.
Are you a great leader? Are you nurturing leadership skills?
You can be a great leader, but sometimes your work environment is just not offering you the opportunity and tools to grow personally and professionally. At Cimpl, our leadership team is dedicated to sharing their incredible knowledge and vision, and that is a big part of why we have been named Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada and in Quebec for two years in a row!
In fact, we’re doing so well, our customers are now trying to learn the Cimpl way of leading and nurturing employees (I am not exaggerating. Companies have started to train with us to learn our methods of employee engagement). Contact us if you want to become a better leader. Alternately (and/or additionally), if you need help controlling IT and telecom expenses, schedule a demo of our telecom expense management platform and see how software developed by great leaders work for you!