John Quincy Adams once said that, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” Having a great idea and assembling a team to aid you on your journey is the first step in creating a successful business. But what happens when you hit a bump in the road and morale is down? What if money is tight and the stress levels are at an all time high? The ability to successfully manage, inspire and execute your ideas is what will separate the dreamers from the entrepreneurs. As a leader, you will be required to make difficult and sometimes emotional decisions. Regardless of what happens, you need to own it. The best leaders are those that are able to control their emotions and make their decisions with the utmost reason and purpose. Below, I have outlined some key qualities that every good leader should possess.
A leader needs to be HONEST
Transparency or honesty in the workplace is one of the most important qualities you can bring within the work environment. This quality, often called company ethics, inspires confidence and respect within one another. Remember, you are responsible for a team of people. Instilling these standards in the beginning will provide a strong ethical culture needed in any working environment. Furthermore, discussing with your workers the overall place of the company allows them to see the value of their work or what they can to push it to the next level.
A leader needs to be able to MANAGE
In the broadest sense of the word, a leader is someone who brings people together and guides them towards a common goal. Anyone can tell a group of people what to do. But to be effective, to be understood, a leader needs to be able to delegate. The key to delegation is identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your team and capitalizing on them. This will not only improve the efficiency of the work, but also the culture of the team. It does not mean that they should stay complacent with remedial task. Rather, give them the opportunity to challenge themselves. The one person that can ignite that type of passion is you. Furthermore, with delegating comes logistics. Organization within management will play a large role with your job. Make sure that you have your own systems set up so that the rest can follow. Any derivation from your system can be incredibly detrimental the overall functionality of the team.
A leader needs to be able to COMMUNICATE
In addition to your goals, a leader needs to be able to communicate to every single person regardless of their position. Knowing what you want to accomplish may seem clear in your head. But to others this can be a different story. When you communicate, take into consideration the perspective the individual. Make sure you are able toe break down clearly and succinctly all of the extreme points in order for you to accomplish your goals. Be sure to also relate it to your overall vision. Many people want to see the end goal of their work. Going back and revisiting the vision as a motivator will be one of the most beneficial ways of communicating and delegating a task. Last but not least, be cognizant of the individual. There is a fine line between asking and telling someone to do something. Make sure that you are asking. Asking shows trust and understanding. Telling shows micromanagement and devaluation.
A leader needs to be CONFIDENT
There will be days in the workplace where the future of your company may be worrisome. But that is a just part of life; things do not always go according to plan. Part of your job as a leader is to not just put out the fires, but also maintain the team morale. Remember, you are their leader. You are the person that people look to when things are going array. By staying calm, composed, and confident you will be able to help the team feel the same way. Furthermore, own every decision even if they led to undesired consequences. Your word should be enough for your troops to trust you. All you need to do is be confident in yourself.
A leader needs to be PASSIONATE and COMMITTED
If you are expecting those around you to work and produce at a high quality, you are going to need to lead by example. A lot of the work culture can be impacted and cultivated simply by one individual. As a leader, your job is to an embodiment of your vision. Your commitment to your work needs to be scene each and every day. Even when times are tough, it will be your passion, your charisma, your magnetism that will push everyone to the path of success.