It only makes sense that the top companies in the world are led by the greatest leaders (e.g. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezo, Arianna Huffington). Great leadership is necessary to create world-changing vision and to inspire others to make that vision a reality. In other words, as business is only as good as the people working within it, the success of any workforce is heavily dependent on the strength of its leadership. Leaders set the tone of the organization’s culture, which ultimately impacts employee engagement and the company’s bottom line.
But how to move from being a simple manager to an inspirational leader? Such a transformation may seem a daunting task, as many leaders appear to possess an enviable, innate ability to inspire peak performance from others. This is not always the case though. Many remarkable leaders have come by their greatness by adopting a few surprising, yet key habits to transform from a manager to a leader.
Point Out Mistakes
Good leaders don’t make excuses when something goes wrong. Shifting blame is diversionary and erodes the effectiveness and efficiency of a team. Instead, they point out their mistakes, own them, find the lesson within the experience, and focus on finding a solution to the problem. After the issue is resolved, good leaders hold themselves accountable for completing a root-cause analysis to mitigate future missteps and for communicating and leading any necessary follow up actions.
Don’t Blindly Trust Your Executive
Leading organizations empower their employees and reward them for shedding light on potential opportunities and challenges to the company’s competitive advantage. Strong leaders welcome feedback knowing extra input can translate into improvement. Front line employees are often the most informed audience. Listening to them, providing a forum to share their ideas, and offering them the means to put ideas into action not only improves the company’s performance, but also employee engagement. Engaged employees are more productive, which translates into further profits.
Know Who is the Smartest In The Room
Great leaders know that leadership is not about being the best on the team. Rather, it is all about assembling a team of the best people for the job who will deliver results. Good leaders don’t need to be the most knowledgeable or skilled. They surround themselves with an elite team of talent and leverage the knowledge among them.
Get in the Weeds
It isn’t enough to simply explain the plan to employees. Good leaders don’t just see the big picture, they jump down in the weeds and delve into the details required for project success alongside their team. Good leaders stayed focused on the goal but remain flexible in how it is achieved. Getting in the weeds, however, does not mean micro-managing. Giving direction and setting expectations is necessary as is giving employees room to be successful at their tasks.
Great leaders are confident in their abilities to deliver results and will therefore walk right to the edge of their comfort zone. Confident leaders share credit with others, knowing they can deliver and that such success was supported by a team of people. This creates trust within workforce, strengthening the very foundation of the organization. Be mindful to not confuse confidence with arrogance, however. Arrogance destroys trust by ignoring the contribution of others.
Remember, not all remarkable leaders were born with the innate abilities to inspire others. Many of the habits common among good leaders are learned and adopted. Focus on the above habits and transform yourself from a manager to a leader today.
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