The best leaders are able to inspire people, sometimes even unknowingly. They win the hearts and loyalty of their team members which lead to the organization’s success. This kind of leader has four admirable qualities:
They are not afraid to be vulnerable. Leaders who are not afraid to fail or show their own flaws and weaknesses are able to gain the trust and cooperation of his team members. On the other hand, leaders who exude too much confidence and come across as perfect make team members believe that he does not need any help. However, great leaders also know what, when, and how to show their weaknesses. They do not show personal flaws that may jeopardize his respectability as a professional.
They are perceptive and sensitive to the feelings of others. Great leaders are good at reading cues from the people around him. People do not need to spell out everything to him before he can sense opinions and feelings. This should not be mistaken from over-sensitivity which can harm the company and the leader himself. For example, when the CEO shows signs of disappointment over the decline in sales, an over-sensitive manager worries that he will be fired. When a great leader senses the negative feelings of others he uses this knowledge to do something that will produce a positive result.
They are empathetic. Great leaders care deeply about his team members. They make sure that team members are working in a favorable environment with enough resources to get their respective jobs done. However, he is able to determine what his people need from what they want. Although great leaders are detached from other people’s personal issues, they respect and care for their team members when it comes to work matters. He makes time to evaluate their work properly as a sign of respect and mutual effort.
They are able to show their uniqueness. Each human being is unique but great leaders know what separates them from the rest. Although they know how to create a sense of belonging as part of the company culture, they also know how to keep distance in order to establish authority. While some leaders do this by dressing expensively, great leaders use their special qualities like expertise, creativity, and passion.
While it is necessary for leaders to be their authentic selves, these four admirable qualities must be part of a great leader’s personality. They must be combined with a leader’s other positive characteristics so that he can create a leadership style that inspires the people in the organization that he runs.
What inspires you to be a leader? Share your leadership experience at the comment box!
Lynn Allen – Johnson
“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
What makes people great? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines great as markedly superior in character or quality. I think that in order to be great, you need to:
do acts that benefit others and not yourself
exercise these acts without being ordered
Therefore, in order to create a great team, you need to let the team members carry on with their tasks without being told to do so. Every single soul is capable of achieving and doing great things if only they are given the chance. However, there are things like fear, insecurity, and pretense can keep people from showing their potential for greatness. In a team where perfectionism seems to be a necessity, members tend to keep themselves from going beyond their duties. With the fear of being shamed, workers tend to stay within their comfort zone so as to keep themselves from making mistakes. This kind of mindset keeps your team members from being reactive, satisfied, and great at their job.
How can you encourage your team to do great things rather than order them?
First and foremost, you need to establish trust. Remember that our behavior is shaped by our personality and the kind of environment we are in. When a team member acts a certain way, we are quick to judge his or her personality. We tend to forget that a toxic environment encourages a person to act badly. On the other hand, a pleasant environment encourages everyone to do good things. Since it is hard to transform personalities, your job as a leader, should be to establish an environment of trust and confidence. By trust we don’t mean that your members think that you, as their leader, is faultless or is always right. Trust means that your decisions will be for the good of the whole team.
Second, let the members think like a leader. Encourage passion and initiative in the minds of your team members by letting them take control. Instead of making them feel that they need your go signal, let them tell you what they intend to do when handling a certain task. Telling them what to do will rob them of the sense of responsibility. They will think that if the action fails, they will not be blamed. On the other hand, if you let them think that they are in full control of the task, they will perform as best as they could.
Some leaders are more comfortable when they are the ones making every single decision. This is normal but this is not the right way to create a great team. Your team will be less pressured and more satisfied with their work if you let them shine and actively exhibit their knowledge and capabilities. Keep yourself from creating a team of followers. This will just undermine their sense of initiative. Treat your members as leaders so that they act with a sense of responsibility.
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
― Charles Bukowski
Mr. Bukowski aptly summarizes what most of us have observed. Gifted individuals are more prone to vulnerability and insecurity than their less skilled friends. The reason behind this is explained thoroughly by Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Children with a fixed mindset tend to believe that failing at a task means they are stupid or unintelligent. Dr. Dweck and her student Claudia Mueller did an experiment where a group of children was praised for their smartness while another group was praised for their efforts. The study showed that children who were praised for being smart easily lost their confidence and doubted their ability after failing a test while those who were praised for their hard work believed that their failure was due to the fact that they did not try hard enough. They therefore worked harder on the final test.
This experiment tells us two things:
1. The kind of feedback that children get from their mentors has a huge impact on their confidence.
2. We need to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset in order to reach our full potential.
If you have a growth mindset, you choose to focus on honing your ability or learning new skills rather. You direct your efforts to getting smarter over showing that you are already smart. On the other hand, if you have a fixed mindset you believe that you already know enough and that you are born with a natural ability to do a certain task.
Now, if you think that you have been approaching life with a fixed mindset, what you need to do is shift to a growth mindset so you can reach your full potential. How can you do this?
A fixed mindset is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you are either born with it or without it, you will keep yourself from acquiring the necessary skills that will lead you to reaching your full potential. Remember to replace “I am not good at this,” to “I am not good at this yet.”
How are you reaching you full potential? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comment box.
Live Your Passion,
Lynn Allen – Johnson