9 Characteristics of All Great Leaders
The world is experiencing unprecedented times like we’ve never seen before. The global COVID pandemic is changing the way most of us live and work. Some companies have managed to make it through these times fairly untouched, while others have faced many great challenges and struggled significantly.
One of the defining reasons why some organizations are able to weather a storm is due to the leadership. Eight months ago, no one could have predicted what was coming, but great leaders are always prepared for anything. In addition, they are always ready to change direction and adapt to the times.
What else defines great leaders? In good times and bad times, the best leaders share many of the same characteristics. The best part is, whether you are in a leadership role or not, you can learn a lot from the best leaders and if put into practice, it can make you better in almost everything you do.
Here are nine things that all great leaders do.
Leaders don’t dwell on things
Great leaders are decisive. Even when put in a situation where they really are unsure, or in tough times like a pandemic, they consider the facts and are quick to make up their minds. They know the time lost debating and the emotional anguish they would be putting themselves through is just not worth it. They also know in many cases, if they make the wrong choice, they can always recover.
Great leaders take the time to teach others. Bossy people bark orders telling others what to do. A great leader knows he or she is only as good as the people around him, so she takes the time to develop her team. A great leader believes in teaching because another leader helped him become so great. Great leaders believe passing on their knowledge to an eager student is one of the best ways to give back.
Leaders tell the truth
Great leaders are always honest. They don’t sugarcoat what needs to be said even if it’s not what someone wants to hear. Their job is to develop their teams and get the best results possible. They prefer for you not to be insulted, but they would rather hurt your feelings temporarily if it means you becoming better in the long run.
All great leaders show their people the way, but they also know how to actively listen. They thoroughly trust their own instincts and judgement, but they know that it’s possible that others could have better ideas or solutions, or an easier way to do something. They are willing to listen to anyone who says they have an idea because they are always open to learning. Especially in difficult times like we are facing now, they know that listening to their team is critically important.
Leaders don’t micromanage
A great leader knows that at some point, he’s going to have to cut the student loose and let her find her own way. Bossy people micromanage the process forever and never let others learn from their mistakes. Real leaders know the only way to learn is from doing.
Leaders don’t care about taking credit
A great leader has one goal: to get the job done with the best results. He’s not in it for the accolades. When things don’t go according to plan, they are the first to take responsibility. They don’t mind a pat on the back once in a while, but it is definitely not a necessity. In the chaotic business climate that we are all working through right now, they know the goal is to succeed despite who gets the credit.
Leaders learn from their mistakes
At the heart of it, great leaders are nothing more than professional failures. They’ve failed time and again but instead of being defeated by their setbacks, they learn from their mistakes and comeback stronger than before until they succeed.
Leaders aim big
Great leaders aim way beyond their potential, even if deep down they know something is out of reach. Keeping their eye on the prize is the only way they are going to stay motivated and moving forward. Sometimes they get laughed at for their auspicious tone, but it doesn’t stop them in their pursuit of great things.
Leaders always want to get better
Even when he or she reaches the top, great leaders know there is always more to learn and better ways to do things. They are open to continually learning from other leaders. They read, attend seminars, go back to school, and they are open to any form of knowledge that will help them become even better. Even though right now they are more focused on getting through the pandemic successfully, they are still looking for ways to be at their best.
About the Author
Angela Civitella is a business executive and leadership coach who is founder of Intinde (www.intinde.com)
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