Leadership isn't about a specific title, nor is it about telling people what to do. Leadership is more about propelling your team on a path of success, maximizing potential and providing guidance. Leadership is not for everyone, neither is business ownership. They both take the strength of will, tenacity and the ability to shoulder great responsibility. Being a great leader takes even more effort to go above and beyond the day to day activities of guiding the ship. In the following discussion, I will outline ten qualities of a good leader, but it will be up to you to put them into practice within your life and your business.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude. This means be solution and action oriented. Your team takes their cues from you, by exuding positivity and being proactive they will feel bolstered and more at ease. Enthusiasm begets success!
- Embrace Change. Change is the only certainty in life. Followers have a tendency to resist change. It is the mark of a leader to embrace change, whether it be expected or unexpected, and take advantage of the opportunity it presents.
- Deploy Courage. Famous leaders are known for their courage in trying and even dangerous situations. Douglas MacArthur* once said, "Courage is just fear that holds out a little longer." And again we hear similar language from George Patton** when he spoke the words, "I don't take counsel from my fears." It is obvious that leaders choose courage every time.
- Take Risks. The biggest risk is to never take one. Without taking a risk there can be no reward and good leaders know this well. Leaders take the risks because they know that when they succeed there will be a greater payout, figuratively and sometimes literally.
- Listen. Most standout leaders are great listeners. Champion teams and their bosses are attentive to each other and value each other's perspectives. A leader in tune with his team and surroundings is more able to uncover and implement impactful strategies because they understand exactly what is needed to improve a situation.
- Communicate. Leaders must set the example for open and often communication. As a leader, if you use your head, say what you feel and speak from your heart than others will follow suit.
- Delegate and Empower. Leaders share their responsibility. Instead of dictating, they set examples for others to follow. This fosters growth in others by challenging them to take on a?new responsibility, encouraging them to succeed and supporting them if they are less than successful. Leaders understand that mistakes are lessons on the way to success.
- Never Stop Learning. Leaders understand the importance of an inquisitive mind. A constant quest for knowledge brings greater and new understanding of any number of situations. Fostering the continual development of knowledge, expands the mind and poises you for success.
- Let People Know They Matter. Spend time asking your team about themselves and then listen. A team that feels cared for and ultimately important is one that will want to work for you.
- Be Committed. Commitment is the catalyst that makes all the other leadership qualities a reality. Daily re-dedication to your goals and missions is the difference between a leader and a would-be leader.
The qualities of a good leader are interchangeable with the skill set of a solid, well-adjusted business owner. And putting into place good leadership within your business is a sure step on the path towards success.
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*Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was also Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II.
**George Patton was a senior officer of the United States Army, who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of World War II, but is best known for his leadership of the U.S.
Gary Goldwasser is a Business Intermediary with Transworld Business Advisors - Rocky Mountain. Passionate about business, Gary believes, at its core, business is about trust and building strong relationships. His expertise comes from his years in printing sales, executive management and having owned three separate businesses himself. The experience and challenge of business ownership have directly impacted Gary and pushed him to be a great manager, co-worker, leader, husband, and father.