Industries and job requirements may greatly vary, but effective leadership traits cross all boundaries. Whether you’re leading a committee, class or Fortune 500 company, there are seven top traits that are exhibited by truly effective leaders:
It’s tough for people to get excited and rally around any cause if the figurehead is dull and seems uninterested. Even if you have to fake it at times, you should always appear to be your company’s biggest fan.
No matter how perfect you may be in every aspect of management style, if your employees don’t like you they will not perform at the highest level. Treat all who you encounter as you would like to be treated. The “Golden Rule” is applicable well beyond elementary school.
It’s human nature to rally around a cause. Yes, the vast majority of employees arrive each day with the goal of earning a paycheck, but truly engaged workers feel that they are a part of a greater, more worthwhile, effort. Effective leaders are adept at getting their teams to believe in the cause and feel compelled to achieve the goal.
Share the rewards and the glory. Not only do employees appreciate the financial perks of a job well done, they value being valued. Don’t take all of the credit for success. Spread some of the glory to your team and reap the reward of loyal, engaged employees.
If you’re not giving 100 percent, 100 percent of the time, why should everyone else? You may think that the exhausting climb up the corporate ladder means afternoons should now be free for golf, demonstrating a constant commitment to the endeavor is crucial. Remember the adage “lead by example.” Show your employees that continued hard work pays off and encourage them to emulate your behavior.
People respond best to clear rules and goals. Keep your dealings with employees fair and try to keep your management decisions separate from personal feelings. Your employees should never know when you’re having a bad day, for example. Frequently praise employee efforts and notify those who are not meeting expectations.
How often do you interact with the rank-and-file employees of your business? Take advantage of every opportunity to exchange pleasantries. Spend a few minutes and ask an employee about the kids in the photo on the desk. They will appreciate your interest. Keep an open door policy and encourage employees to alert you of accomplishments or potential problems.