Ask any employee what the benchmarks of a good leader are and you’ll probably wind up with a handful of clichés, some standard characteristics and a few “outside the box” traits. Everything from exceptional communication skills to being brutally honest for the sake of the employee’s progress fall in line with being a followable leader.
Here are three more great qualities of a leader.
Leaders with great character earn the respect of their peers. Maybe that’s a cliché to some, but the hidden advantages of great character for leaders is the ability to be trusted through thick and thin. Employees respond better to praise, pressure and criticism from their superiors when they have the utmost respect for them to begin with. More importantly, employees are more engaged and respond to requests more quickly when they trust they're being led in the right direction.
Committed, Swift Decision Making
The longer leaders ponder a decision, the more it hurts productivity. Employees sit and wait, unsure of when a revision will come, and if it does, there’s a good chance it will disrupt their flow of working on another project. Great leaders are able to stick with their choices, and make those easy and tough decisions quickly. But getting to that comfort level can be hard at first. If you’re stuck, why not try transparent decision making before coming to the final decision? You don’t have to involve too many people, but at least when you run it up and down the ladder, you gauge their interests to help formulate your last and final decision.
Available When You Need Them
Quality leaders make quality time for their employees a priority. Their schedule may be busier than normal, or they might be fielding calls or flying on planes for most of the week, but they at least extend themselves enough to show the employees that work under them are on the radar.
Great leaders are not born; everyone needs a push to be a sound delegator and will succeed (and fail) through trial and error until they’re seasoned, motivational and respected authorities in their field. But truly great qualities like the ones above can have a positive ripple effect to others which can lead to higher employee morale and better productivity for your company down the line.
For more tips on building a great foundation as a leader, be sure to check out our most popular leadership courses on everything from motivational techniques to building an effective leadership team and more.