Leaders are sometimes born to lead. Take a minute to think about that friend who always has a vision and a plan to achieve and execute all the while they are able to articulate and demonstrate their achievements and growth to others. You find that everyone wants to follow the steps that this friend took to accomplish their goals. When other people decide to follow the same plan, it works for them as well! They just seemed to always have it together #imahater.
Those are the types that I am going to call “born leaders”. They take the time to evaluate situations by learning from mistakes and adjusting course when needed. They are confident to share their mistakes because they have learned from them and have the ability to bounce back from them. Humble, confident, and compassionate are words that I think of when I evaluate my leader’s characteristics. Remember this is a blog post and my personal opinion.
Now let’s think about the leaders that are requested, nominated, or promoted to lead. Some are equipped with the tools to lead and the rest learn as they go. Hopefully they have a good support system to learn from and know the importance of having a mentor. I do not want to give the impression that this type of leader is not as good as the “born leader”, they just possess a different mindset. This leader that I will label “promoted leader” will need to listen more and speak less, evaluate past methods, evaluate past mistakes and establish a plan.
When establishing a plan, there is a difference in how the two leaders approach this task. I have found that the promoted leader will engage their team and peers to formulate the structure of the plan prior to working on implementation. I find that the born leader usually comes in with a plan and engages the team and peers to evaluate how to implement the plan and will course correct before implementation. Promoted leaders need to concentrate on establishing trust with their team because the team members may not share the same vision as the individual(s) that promoted the new leader. Some team members may believe that they were more qualified to lead the team and begin to work against the promoted leader. These are things that the promoted leader will need to keep in the back of their mind and pay attention to these queues when they arise.
Being in a leadership role a person will need multiple characteristics to be successful. First and foremost, confidence, confidence should not be confused with arrogance. People will follow and support a confident leader that believes in their vision. People tend to shy away from an insecure leader because they know this leader is afraid and do not believe or understand the vision of the organization and unclear of their role. Leaders should listen to opinions even if they differ and take these opinions into consideration. Not to be confused with implementation, sometimes opinions are just that (an opinion). What‘s that saying…everyone has an opinion like everyone has a butt hole and I am showing my butt hole in this article. These are all of my opinions remember LOL. Okay going down a rabbit hole.
Back on track, leaders should not reduce the significance of negative behavioral indicators. For instance, delegating work unequally, being indecisive about decisions, or panicking about deadlines rather than planning. These are all indicators that will destroy the morale of a team and good leaders pick up on these queues and adjust accordingly, especially if someone brings it to their attention. Humility is very important as a characteristic. Leaders should not lead by using an “I am better than” attitude or “my way or nothing”. Great leaders are very humble and they listen to their teams. Have you ever told your supervisor how you feel about a situation and they try to tell you otherwise? Great leaders will not tell someone how to feel, they will listen and provide guidance. Possibly share a different side of the situation but never tell someone how they should or should not feel.
The last characteristic I want to discuss in regards to leaders is compassion. Yes this is work but we are all human and have lives outside of work. Great leaders listen, advise, and plan even for things that may happen outside of the work life. I would always say, “If someone starts a sentence with I feel at work, I am turning off my ears. This is work and we don’t have feelings.” Well there are times when someone should be able to tell their feelings because we spend the majority of our lives at work and deal with a lot of emotions and personalities.
What leader do you want to become? Think about the characteristics that you see in the great leaders in your life. Write those characteristics down, research them, and implement. Good luck future leaders! Share your thoughts below. Have a good one!