When it comes to being a successful leader, there are no one-size-fits all approach that will guarantee success. Some of the best leaders of our time have all taken very different approaches to inspire success in their team, and, no doubt, the next generation will forge their own path towards achieving their goals.
However, there is a common thread between many successful leaders that showcases the qualities that it takes to push teams onward towards success.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”
A key quality for any leader is a strong belief in their principles – not wavering from what they believe to be the best path even when it’s not acknowledged by others, or convenient for themselves.
A leader’s integrity can take many forms within the business, whether that’s driving forward with their beliefs and principles, feeding them through their organisation to create a culture that bigger than themselves, or simply being sincere in your actions within the business – cultivating an identity that others can understand and follow.
A great leader must be able to communicate well. Leaders should be able to instruct and motivate using a range of communication skills.
If this is something you struggle on, then we advise researching leadership development programmes. Remember communication is key. The power of words can motivate people. Using these effectively will achieve results.
Holding yourself or your team accountable for their actions is a reality of leadership.
If your team can see this, it will create a sense of responsibility throughout the organisation. Just remember to get the balance right – if something has not gone to plan, hold that person accountable for their actions, address what has gone wrong, why and work together to improve the mistake.
It’s also important to ensure that, if someone does something well, they are praised for their good work. This will help to boost your teams’ morale.
“A good leader takes little more than his share of the blame and little less than his share of the credit.”
Arnold H Glasow
A leader should trust their employees to work to the best of their capabilities.
Empower your team to want to work and succeed. Provide your team with the opportunity to increase their learning and development within the organisation. Through these actions employees will continue to perform and be motivated to working towards achieving the company’s goals.
A good leader should have the ability to make decisions.
A great leader can make the right decisions at the right time and be confident to take on the risk. A great leader will understand they will be held accountable if things don’t work out which leads onto the next quality of accountability.
If you are not confident in your capabilities, vision and goals, how can you, as a leader, expect your team to buy in to your approach.
Leaders must be confident in their approach, inspiring their people to believe in the organisation, and the direction that it is heading.
This does not mean that a leader must ignore doubt. Doubt is an important tool in questioning, and re-imagining, what you are doing. Ensuring that you never get too comfortable on the route you are taking.
Doubt and confidence come hand in hand, because, if you cannot question yourself a leader, how can you be confident in your abilities to lead?
To ensure the optimum performance of your staff, it’s important they are motivated towards achieving their personal and company objectives.
Everyone is different, and what whilst one technique will help motivate one employee, it could have a detrimental impact for another.
Be mindful to understand what drives your team, whether it be praise, inclusion or monetary rewards, and tailor your approach accordingly.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams
Creativity and Innovation
To stay ahead of the game in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, a leader must be an innovative thinker.
Creative thinking and innovation will ensure your ideas stand out from the crowd and put you on the road to success. Think out of the box and watch those idea turn into realistic goals and reality.
“‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”
One obvious leadership quality would be strategic planning.
You should have the ability to understand where the market is going and what opportunities or problems could come up.
Anticipating trends allows you to execute your plan before your competitors automatically putting you at the front of the game.
When responsible for a team, honesty is the best policy.
Being straightforward with your colleagues will ensure that everyone is working on the same page, leading to less confusion and more aligned thinking within the organisation.
Leading from the front, and being honest with your team, will not only create trust, but will also allow for an environment where your people feel empowered and comfortable to be honest with you.
About OnTrack International
OnTrack International are a global learning and development consultancy working with some of the most successful organisations in the world.
With a focus on developing learning solutions to meet precise business needs, we combine multiple methods of learning to deliver optimum business value.
Our approach is to work in partnership with a client, forming a relationship where there is a deep level of understanding of what will work best to achieve the desired results.
To learn more about our global learning and development solutions, speak to a consultant today.