To be a good leader means that you can inspire others to follow your example, willingly and cheerfully. A good leader will both inspire confidence and give a strong example of what we should aim for. These are the characteristics of a good leader.
1. Lead by example. If you wish your workforce to be hard working and diligent, it is important that you live up to your own ideals. There is a saying “I would never ask anybody to do something I wouldn’t do myself”. If your workforce see you arriving late and being unprofessional, it will make it much more difficult for them to follow your advice.
2. Humility. To lead we need to encourage others to act in a certain way. However, if we try to lead through our inflated ego people will not respect us. Rather than stressing your self, try to lead through stressing certain principles. People will be much more willing to follow a leader who embodies humility.
3. Appreciate your Co Workers. To be a good leader, you cannot underestimate the importance of offering gratitude to those who are trying hard to do the right thing. If people get appreciation then it will definitely encourage them to continue doing the right thing. At the same time, our appreciation should be sincere. We should not flatter but look for something good a person has done.
4. Have a Clear vision. Often to lead you will need to overcome the resistance to change. If people have been doing something for a long time then they have an instinctive aversion to implementing new ideas. To introduce a new way of doing things you have to have the confidence and belief in the new way. People will definitely pick up on the belief that you have in your own vision.
5. Avoid arguments. If people criticize your approach, often the best thing to do is not get involved in arguments. You can listen to their criticism politely and thank them for their concern, but often the best approach is just to focus on the new approach; look forward and don’t feel the need to defend yourself. This gives your vision certain nobility.
6. Listen to others. A good leader should try to feel part of his team rather than superior, if you listen to others, they will definitely appreciate it. Often you may find that your workers have good ideas that you can incorporate. Even if they have unworkable ideas, it is still worth giving the impression you value their opinions, even if they are not used.
7. Create a positive atmosphere. If you try to lead through creating a climate of fear, or competition, you will undoubtedly create problems. If you can lead whilst maintaining a positive attitude, it will definitely bear fruits in the long run.
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously. There is no harm in admitting you can be wrong, or making a joke at your own expense. People will appreciate a leader who can admit a mistake; it is after all a human quality. But, just don’t make a habit of it.
By Ronald Andrews