What is leadership?
This is a hard topic to dissect and discuss, because everyone has a different take on what actually defines leadership. There is also a big difference in just trying to nail down what leadership is and what it means to be a leader in the business world. I don’t think it takes the most out-going or extroverted person to be a great leader in the business world, it can help but it can also hurt since most times the most outgoing people do like to crave attention on themselves, it is difficult for others to share in that spotlight as part of the team.
I think it comes down to some real simple traits to be a great leader in business, no matter the industry that you are in.
Take Ownership: If you have an idea or are given the chance to lead a project, take ownership of those things, invest in them, continue to grow them and ultimately take pride in what you have done. There will be things that you wish you could have another shot at, but if you learn from those moments, that is another way to strengthen yourself and improve for the next time.
Be Accountable: Hold yourself to the same standard that you hold others too. If you have people that work for you, whatever you expect from them, be the example for them to follow. If you make a mistake, tell your team what happened, and see what could have been done to prevent it or avoid it. Don’t be afraid to share that experience and keep the finger pointing to a minimum. No want likes to hear the BUS coming.
Be part of the TEAM: If you work in a department or have people that work for you, be an integral part of that team; not just a bystander or the person that “barks” orders. Get your hands dirty and show the traits that got you to the management position in the first place. All in all, don’t ask something of your people or your team that you would not be willing to do yourself.
Treat People Equally: To me, this is one of the most important. I used to work for someone that would change their entire demeanor when an executive would be on their way to the department; more pleasant, laughter, and just a bit more a chipper outlook (which meant that everyone else that occupied that department didn’t warrant that type of behavior on a daily basis). Then, I worked for someone that would show the same respect to the building attendant in the hallway as they did the CEO. This takes no extra effort on your part, just a little bit of thought.
Now, this is not gospel into becoming a great leader, they are just some of my thoughts and ramblings on things that I value in leaders. Do you think that these are important qualities for a leader, what are some of the behaviors that you value, and what else do you think makes a great leader in the business world?