With the abundance of articles written about leadership, it’s safe to say that people want to know the secrets of how to become an effective leader. Not just a leader – but a leader that people want to follow. In business, or in life in general, being a leader that people are more than willing to engage with is one that marks great leadership.
But Rome was not built in a day, and neither are great nor compelling leaders. There is no universal teaching on how to become a great and charismatic leader, but they do share a few common likenesses in how they interpret and handle situations. Here are the traits of great leaders that people will absolutely love to follow.
It’s impossible for people to like you – let alone allow you to lead them – if you don’t believe in yourself in the first place. Be optimistic in life. Be a ‘glass-half-full’ type of person. Show enthusiasm for everything you do for yourself and for your business. More importantly, always be comfortable with who you are. A great leader takes pride of their personality and doesn’t try to be someone else.
2. A Good Listener
While listening shouldn’t be a foreign concept to us, many people undermine its value in creating a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
Research states that people spend between 70 and 80% of their day engaged in some form of communication, and about 55% of their time is devoted to listening. But surprisingly, most people usually only remember about 17 to 25% of the things they listen to.
That’s why in order to retain as much information as possible, you need to listen with interest. While remembering one of your junior associates is not everything, being able to call them by their name without enquiring anyone first can impact their morale and their impression about you as their leader as well.
So, always pay attention and be emphatic in every conversation you’ll have.
Integrity means the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that one refuses to change at all times and in all circumstances.
People with high integrity are appealing because they walk their talk, plain and simple. Integrity is a simple concept but a difficult thing to practice, especially in business. To demonstrate integrity every day, you should follow through with your actions, avoid talking bad about other people, and do the right thing, even when it hurts.
Employees feel more motivated when their efforts are noticed and appreciated, especially by their leaders. On the end, employees who feel undervalued are more likely to dislike their higher-ups, have lower productivity, and leave the business for good.
As a leader, even your small gestures of gratitude show people that they matter. Be appreciative that they choose to be part of your team. Whether it’s a simple birthday card or monetary bonus, showing gratitude is enough to inspire and bolster your team.
Business leaders who focus their passion on achieving the results that they want to accomplish, the results that others expect of them, develop the reputation for performance and achievement that inevitably leads to the perception of greater charisma.
By consistently delivering the outcomes of what they’ve promised, great leaders have no problem winning the trust of their subordinates, especially if their actions can greatly impact the individuals they lead.
Great leaders set clear goals and become determined and purposeful, backing those goals with unshakable self-confidence. They are enthusiastic and excited about what they’re doing. They are totally committed to achieving something worthwhile.
This energy of determination and empowerment coming from the leaders is essential for people to remain steadfast despite all the setbacks the organisation might face along the way.
A straightforward leader addresses issues by going to the very root of the issue. By this, it means providing straightforward solutions without the need to go through the unnecessary observations of the protocol. The leader’s idea of a system is where he can be approached or reached to some level of importance and urgency.
When confronted with compromising issues, this trait will surface if he provides information directly and on point. To do this means laying all the cards on the table and maintaining transparency by presenting facts with diplomacy. Your intent as a leader is to lessen confusion as a means of expediting solutions.
As actor Denzel Washington said in a speech, “Without a commitment, you will never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you will never finish.” People want to follow leaders who take pride in their visions and values and remain steadfast in what they stand for personally. They’re consistent with the way they treat their employees. They’re consistent with their thinking and how they approach situations. They’re consistent with how to go along with others.
Irrational and erratic behaviours don’t generate trust and respect but drive fear and anger. Be consistent with all your actions and your employees will surely put their confidence in your leadership.