Are you a leader or are you just a manager? You are the very top of the food chain at your company which means everyone looks to you for leadership. Being a leader doesn’t mean that you are the bossiest person around. It means stepping up and doing the things that need to be done so that the business, and everyone around you, grows and thrives. Anyone can pretend to manage. Any one can be bossy. But, what does it take to be a real leader?
- Being a positive role model and displaying humility are the first major factors in identifying a true leader. You have certain expectations and rules for both yourself and for those you employ or manage. You stick to them, you become them and show others how to do so also simply through your actions. Humility means being an honest person. You admit your mistakes, encourage other to do so and you are quick to place credit and praise exactly where it is due. You encourage and you inspire, you don’t cajole or bully.
- You encourage curiosity and creativity in your workforce. The worst scenario for your business is to have a group of employees who just go through the motions and who watch the clock waiting for 5 PM to come every day. You communicate effectively and plainly. There is never a time when someone has no idea what you mean.
- It is all about people and getting them all to work together toward a common goal. Everyone has something of significance to contribute to the effort and you must realize that and celebrate it at all times. You must get to know everyone’s strengths and weakness and play to those strengths and integrate them with everyone else’s strengths. You must inspire passion in yourself and inspire it in others.
- Know the great leaders who have gone before you and emulate them if you can. Always look for the positive rather than always being focused on the negative. A positive outlook lifts people up while a negative one just drains them of energy and desire. Finally, don’t be what you are not. Always be comfortable enough to just be yourself. Know your own strengths and use them to grow your company. Recognize your inherent weaknesses and gather great people around you who are strong in those areas in which you are weak. It is all a matter of balance and the great leaders know that and strive to achieve it every minute of the day.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer