By: Brigg Patten
Whether leaders are the captain of a team, the head of a household or the president of a company, their quest usually revolves around one thing: success. Quality leadership skills are often hard to measure on a daily basis, but their long-term effects are obvious and undeniable. Leaders are a lot of things and contain many traits, but there are five essential habits that, if practiced and pursued in an honest and consistent fashion, can help turn anyone into a leader and enable them to create their own success.
Possessing integrity is not only one of the most important factors for being a great leader, it is also necessary in a great friend, family member and, really, a good member of society. Having integrity is about being honest with yourself and others, maintaining an environment of fairness and equality. When team members are looking to rise through the ranks, snag an important assignment or earn a pay raise, the last thing they will want to do is go through an unfair gatekeeper. Providing an atmosphere of integrity will help build confidence and encourage hard work, because team members will know they will be properly credited and rewarded for their efforts.
When leaders treat employees or team members with respect and understanding, they are showing their ability to foster an environment of success, and team members will respond in kind, pushing themselves to provide the best work they can.
A work environment is what people make it, and it is a leader’s job to promote and ensure the atmosphere around their team is positive, encouraging and headed toward success. When leaders are passionate and enthusiastic about what the team is striving for, attitudes become better suited to achieve that goal, leading to higher productivity and a greater potential for success. Guiding people to feel passionate about what they do is key in having team members feel personally invested in their work, bringing them further into the project and more mentally focused on the idea of succeeding. Also, the ability to tap into the types of learning that will be most effective for employees, whether that involves elearning, microlearning or gamification examples, is important for instilling lasting passion in employees.
Most people can relate to this idea when they think back to high school or college. Teachers and professors are leaders, and their goal is to impart knowledge to their students. When students enter a passionate teacher’s classroom, the excitement toward their subject is almost palpable, leading to students who are engaged and want to learn. These leaders are achieving their goal of successfully imparting knowledge, whereas teachers with less passion, less enthusiasm, often see more yawns and shut eyelids than glimmers of excitement. A lack of passion can immediately lead to failure.
The idea of generosity is often linked to money, especially in the business world, but it is so much more than simply dollars and cents. Generosity can appear in a myriad of ways, and it is crucial in team environments that generosity be encouraged. When bosses acknowledge the hard work or interesting solution an employee has provided the team, they are going out of their way to praise this individual, turning into a leader that fosters an environment of success. It would be easy for that boss to have chalked the employee’s efforts up to obligation, but by singling them out and showing that the employee’s efforts are appreciated, they are being generous with their time and praise.
Great communication does not necessarily mean being able to write academic papers or typo-free memorandums, but more being able to relay a message clearly and often. Great leaders are able to communicate their desires, instructions and findings in an easy to understand way to employees and customers, minimizing confusion that could jeopardize the success of the team.
Communication is a two-way street though, and simply sending a message out does not make for a strong leader. Employees and team members should be able to easily approach their leader, either to ask for clarification or supply suggestions. If the avenues of communication are blocked between team members and leaders, issues could easily arise and not be treated until productivity is affected.
Compounding the importance of a leader’s communication abilities, they should also be able to create an environment where communication between team members is encouraged. If a team’s communication was to be mapped visually, it should look like a web of lines going back and forth from every person, not direct lines leading only from employees at the bottom to a boss on a higher level. True leaders see themselves as the center of a team, not the top.
So, what does a leader do once a success is achieved, even a small one? Share the credit, of course. Leaders who are humble, sharing any praise they receive with the rest of their team, are always be appreciated by employees and team members. These leaders know that, even though they were appointed to guide, they could not have succeeded without the honest efforts of their team members.
When a leader utilizes these habits, encouraging a positive and enthusiastic work environment, praising team member for their hard work and communicating their appreciation, any goal can be achieved successfully.
By Brigg Patten
About the author
Brigg Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He’s a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.
Photo: 5 Traits of a Great Leader by Shutterstock.com