There are many who claim to be leaders and have been granted leadership, but do all of them have what it takes to be a great one?
Are all leaders created equally? Are all of them successful in being a leader?
Of course, there are a number of leaders, in all sorts of nature, but a few of them do stand out. Many can be leaders but not all are successful.
Have you ever wondered what separated these leaders from the rest? What sets them apart from the other leaders? What makes them different?
Why are they a force to reckon with? What makes them so successful in leadership? When you look at them closely, they do have something in common.
Traits and actions that are common to great leaders. Qualities that bring them success. So where do we start?
Influence – What makes people take action? What makes them stand up and listen? Is there a “magical force” that bind them? It’s not really magic, we call this influence. It is the ability to make people listen. It’s the ability to make people follow.
However we must differentiate influence, we have to distinguish it from manipulation. Manipulation is when people feel pressed to do things they are quite unwilling to do but they have to anyway. This is also when people do things that are not really favorable them but they have no choice on it.
This is not really a winning situation, as it’s short of forcing people to do the will of the leader. Manipulation causes ill feelings. People are not following out of their on free will, they are following because of coercion and sometimes, fear.
This situation will only last for so long, people wouldn’t want to be subject to this kind of leadership. Sooner or later, they will break away. It does not promote loyalty.
But then again, there is the good kind of influence. Where people will really listen without coercion. They do have a choice, but they choose to follow the leader. Why so?
When something strikes the people in a personal way, they pay attention and follow. They would go through lengths to follow or support because they are inspired. And if the leader is inspirational, this will command attention and people will listen.
Being inspirational contributes largely to an effective leadership.
Asking the right questions – It’s easy to pinpoint what your company does. Of course, anyone who works for the company knows what you do and how to do the job. While it is good that, that is clear on the onset – are we asking the right questions?
It is almost by default that we present our business to the customers on what we do and how we do it. Nothing wrong – it’s just common. But you can elevate this by asking the right questions. Why do you do your job? Ask that compelling question.
Instead, focus on why the customer needs your business. Grow your business, and putting in mind why your target market needs you. It gives more meaning to what you do. Your market isn’t really that focused in what you do, they want to understand why they need your product.
And for the people within the company, this gives more meaning to their day to day tasks. It’s not just what they do anymore, it is WHY they need to provide. When people see the meaning in what they do, they work more with a purpose.
Definition – It’s now established why the customer needs your product. And it doesn’t stop there. Never stop at the chance to explain why they need your product, it should be the focus of your marketing. Why they need you. Define that need.
Emphasize on the value of your business to them. Be clear, your definition will be sent across. Make it personal, not just a need for a generic group. When it resonates to something deep within, it reaches why they need the product.
And people under your leadership should understand this definition as well. It should be clearly defined so it can be the core of their work.
Getting People to Follow You – Why do people follow? Yes, it is about influence. But what strikes them to do just that? They will follow anyone, who strikes something deep within them. You have to understand that people have the need to belong.
And if they recognize that you have that quality – they will follow. When they follow you, it is personal for them. They see in your company that you have something important to them.
People follow because they recognize the need within themselves. It’s about them. But because you have the ability to make them feel safe, that they do belong – they become followers.
What You Value – What comes in hand in hand with why you do your business? Of course, the values you uphold. It is important that this is put out there and actualized.
What values do you emphasize on? It’s not only important that you know why you do your business, it’s also important to lay out the values that support it. What is important to you?
The values serve as the forefront guideline of the company as well. While not limited to those values, the people work around it with those values in mind. It builds a company centered on these qualities.
It glues the group together. And what brings people together, makes them more unified. The people are driven to perform and work together better.
Decide which values you would center on, lay it out for everyone to see and see how it integrates into their everyday working life.
Those values are more than just words, they are the core of the people as well. They understand why their business exists and they are guided with the company values.
The leader inspires the team to work better, and it’s a good kind of inspiration. None of those kinds that the people are forced to do their day to day tasks.
At the end of the day – what sets the leader and the team apart is the culture they built for themselves. If it’s a culture where everyone thrives, motivated, and inspired – it’s all good.
So what do we learn from all of this? Being a leader is not just about heading a team, it’s more than that. There are a lot of leaders but what makes a successful leader?
When you look at what we have discussed, it’s a combination of these aspects that draws out the best leadership.
When we work together, it’s not just all about the leader- but a great responsibility rests on his shoulders as well. The leader should be able to build a team culture based on the aspects discussed.
What brings the company together? What they believe in and the culture is built around this. And the leader has a special role in this. The leader initiates a culture where people are inspired to follow and they share common values in why they do their business.