Leadership During "Wartime" - 9 Characteristics Great Leaders Share
In tough times like these, leadership matters to the survival of an organization, large or small. When you look at great leaders, there are definitely some things they all have in common. What are they?
Leaders teach. Great leaders take the time to teach others. Bossy people bark orders telling others what to do. Great leaders know they are only as good as the people around them, so they take the time to develop their team. Great leaders believe in teaching because another great leader helped them become great.
Leaders don’t micromanage. Great leaders know that at some point they will have to cut their “students” loose to find their own way. Bossy people micromanage the process forever and never let others learn from their mistakes. Real leaders know the only way to learn is by doing.
Leaders don’t care about taking credit. Great leaders have one goal: to get the job done with the best results. They are not in it for the accolades. When things don’t go according to plan, they are the first to take responsibility. They don’t mind a pat on the back once in a while, but it definitely is not a necessity.
Leaders tell it like it is. Great leaders are always honest. They don’t sugarcoat what needs to be said, even if it’s not what someone wants to hear. Their job is to develop their teams and get the best results possible. They prefer for people not to feel insulted, but they would rather hurt feelings temporarily if it results in their people becoming better in the long run.
Leaders listen. While all great leaders show their people the way, they also know how to actively listen. And while they thoroughly trust their own instincts and judgment, they also know it’s possible that others could have better ideas or solutions, or an easier way to do something. They are willing to listen to anyone who says they have an idea because they are always open to learning.
Leaders learn from their mistakes. At the heart of it, great leaders are nothing more than professional failures. They’ve failed time and again, but instead of being defeated by their setbacks they learn from their mistakes and come back stronger than before until they succeed.
Leaders aim big. Great leaders aim way beyond their potential, even if deep down they know something is out of reach. Keeping their eye on the prize is the only way they are going to stay motivated and moving forward. Sometimes they get laughed at for their auspicious tone, but it doesn’t stop them in their pursuit of great things.
Leaders don’t dwell on things. Great leaders are decisive. Even when put in a situation where they really are unsure, they consider the facts and are quick to make up their minds. They know the time lost debating and the emotional anguish they would put themselves through is just not worth it. They also know that, in many cases, if they make a wrong choice, they can always recover.
Leaders always want to get better. Even when they reach the top, great leaders know there is always more to learn and better ways to do things. They are open to continually learning from other leaders. They read, attend seminars, go back to school, and are open to any form of knowledge that will help them – and their people – become even better.
Angela Civitella is a business executive and leadership coach. She is the founder and CEO of Intinde, which provides one-on-one business leadership coaching with offices in Montreal, Boston, and South Florida.
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