Five must-have traits for Leaders


People love status; that’s just the nature of the beast. But wanting something and then going out and getting it can be an insurmountable hurdle. So sometimes people need to clarify what they want and why they want it. If you see yourself as a leader, have a quick look at the “five questions mirror.” If you can’t get past this list honestly, save yourself some time. You’re not a leader. That’s not all bad—you can still do something cool and be popular some place.

1. Honesty: Do you really think that being a leader in business is a popularity contest? Hell no. You are the messenger of good and bad news, so deal with it. Stop sugarcoating the damn thing and just deal with it. Many times, I have lost confidence in “leaders” that say one thing and then, in the end, they do an 180 and act like nothing needs to be done. Don’t lead if you can’t make decisions. And honesty toward yourself and others is a big part of making decisions.

2. Lead by example: You are no exception. If you think you are an exception to the rules, what do you think the rest of the team will think and eventually do? It is a rhetorical question so do not even answer that one. If you don’t do what you expect others to do, why should they even try? If you want results, make it clear from the start why you can and why others can’t. This can be based on rank, income, type of haircut. I don’t care, as long as you make it clear from the start.

3. Be consistent: The moment you feel you can skip your good advice, just keep it to yourself. You’ll look ridiculous, and you won’t win hearts and minds with this approach. Maybe you should think a bit more about what you meant before you say it. Because clawing back is never the way forward. Pick your losses and learn from them. Telling your folks one thing and doing something different yourself? Come on, don’t waste my time.

4. Listen to others: Listen as much as you can, do it for everyone who has something to tell you. Then, among their stories try to find the moral, the lessons that you wouldn’t have had the chance to learn otherwise. Yes, it is your decision, but it does not always need to be your idea. We are now in the land of making money and pleasing customers, so stop your teen attitude and grow a pair.

5. Emotional stability: If you have some issues back home, or you feel people don’t love you anymore, see a professional who’ll listen. But don’t take that baggage with you to the work floor. Accepting help is professional and very 2016, so don’t feel too proud to give in to it. Stop leading for a while and learn so you can pick leadership back up again when you are back on track. Then you can help people that face the same difficulties through this awkward period in their professional careers. Yes, you are never too old to learn. Pride is all between your ears.

Bottom line: People think that being a leader is just a title and a big paycheck. We have seen so many businesses that rise and fall in the past 16 years because of a lack of real leadership. Proud folks that gave it their best, and thought that was all it took. No one is ever a 100% success. But you can do your utmost to achieve perfection—even if it is elusive. People who always agree with you won’t bring you to a higher level. What do we all gain from this sheep mentality? Stand up and speak your mind. Accept periods in your life that we all have to face, then deal with it and come back even stronger. We are not all leaders, so as long as you make your point and do it with decency, you can tell your leader how he can lead better.

Posted in : HR Strategy


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