When you think of some of the great business leaders of our time, who comes to mind? Steve Jobs? Lee Iacocca? Oprah Winfrey? While these individuals are vastly different, they do share some core traits that many great business leaders have in common. In this piece, we identify several you can use to tap your leadership potential.
True leaders understand that actions speak louder than words. They identify challenges and set about overcoming them, either on their own or by enlisting the help of others. They are examples of model behavior throughout the company, regardless of title or position.
The status quo is the bane of a good leader’s existence. Instead of meeting goals, they strive to raise the bar and achieve more than what’s expected. They see opportunities where others see dead ends, and they’re not afraid to overcome them.
While leaders are compensated for their roles, money is not the prime motivation for their actions. Good leaders derive satisfaction from seeing their ideas come to life and by motivating others to buy into their vision.
Good business leaders not only communicate well, they also have a keen sense of their audience members and how best to reach them. They’re astute observers who understand when to talk one-to-one, send an email or let someone else do the talking.
Credibility is important to effective leaders, and they gain theirs by being honest and transparent whenever possible. They admit their mistakes and don’t blame others. They also give credit where it’s due and aren’t afraid to share the spotlight with those who deserve it.
Just as there is no “I” in team, there is no “I” in leader, either. The good ones understand the value of productive work teams and will do everything possible to make sure everyone not only contributes, but also understands that he or she is a valuable asset to the team.
A good leader doesn’t approach each issue the same way. He or she assesses the situation and responds accordingly. Sometimes it means taking a direct hand in the situation and other times it means holding back. The wisdom to know the difference sets good leaders apart.
Successful leaders understand that there’s always room to improve. Whether it means becoming certified in a new area or taking on a new project, they understand that the challenge will make them a better leader in the long run.
When good leaders think about work, they look past the job at hand and envision how the job plays into the larger goals of the company. They see what can happen down the road and know how to adjust things to make sure everyone arrives at the same destination.
If your goal is to become a better leader, these tips can help. Embrace them all and there’s no telling how successful you’ll be.