6 Signs of a Good Leader
25 May 2017
A few weeks ago, I wrote about what it meant to display good leadership skills during Mental Health Awareness Week. For me, this was so important as senior management must lead from the top when it comes to making all of their employees feel safe and valued within the workplace.
So, what of the rest of the year? What inspires and motivates employees all year round to keep innovating and working hard? What makes a good leader can often seem hard to define; it can very much depend on the context. Different situations call for different personalities.
Recently, I attended the HR Network Conference through in Edinburgh, where I sat in on a seminar delivered by the key-note speaker, Ros Taylor. She spoke about all the different qualities that can be applied across the board when it comes to excelling in senior roles.
This got me thinking about the many senior management individuals that I come across in my working life. And, it’s true, they do all possess very similar qualities.
Here are just some I can think of:
Change can be scary – but it can also be great for business. There can be nothing worse than stagnating whilst your competitors strive ahead. Seek out new technologies and better ways of doing things; source fresh talent. The important thing is not to be stuck in a certain way of doing things. Don’t be afraid to make the leap and embrace change.
Are you still as hungry as you were on the shop floor? What keeps you motivated? Think about how you add value to the business. Are you an innovator; are you still hungry to close a deal; are you great at networking? Employees look to leadership for inspiration, so if you aren’t motivated and keen, how can you expect your staff to be?
One of the key skills in life – never mind business – is the ability to problem solve. Keeping calm under pressure, be it through changing deadlines or products not arriving, is so important in business. You must be able to take problematic situations and use them to your advantage. This requires someone with a sharp mind and broad ideas.
Whether you are public speaking or simply greeting a colleague, confidence is king. A limp handshake, stumbling over your sentences or not knowing how things work doesn’t exactly instill the idea of a firm leader. Get to grips with every element of your business and don’t be afraid to network. Confidence is something that can be gained through experience and knowledge.
You are a human being just like everyone you employ. If someone is having a rough time of it, in or outside of work, don’t avoid the situation. Think of ways to lighten their work load, offer time off or see if a change of teams is in order. There is always a solution. Don’t come across like you don’t care or your employees could come to resent you.
What are you good at? What are your weaknesses? These are questions that no one likes to answer about themselves but they are so important – especially if you are tasked with building a board or senior management team. You need to surround yourself with people who will highlight your strengths and compensate for your flaws. Don’t surround yourself with ‘Yes Men’.
If you are looking for advice or guidance on the best approach for your organisation, I would be more than happy to speak with you confidentially about your options, and suitable candidates. Click here to see my details.
Written By Barry Lee