It’s not enough to have natural leadership skill; you also need to put in the effort. While some people may be born with innate leadership skills, those traits alone aren’t enough to make someone an effective leader. In addition, competent leaders who are ready to put in the effort to improve themselves can develop into great leaders.
Here are eight qualities that will help you get there:
1. Get to know yourself better
An individual can gain a conscious knowledge and understanding of their personality, feelings, intentions, and desires through the process of developing their awareness of themselves. Self-awareness enables leaders to evaluate and alter their patterns of behavior, which in turn allows them to make greater contributions to the achievement of successful outcomes. In addition, having a high level of self-awareness paves the way for continuous personal development and growth.
2. See outside of oneself
Teaching senior leaders to look beyond the immediate results at hand is essential to assisting them in reaching their full potential. They become excellent at recognizing how the decisions they make and the actions they take will play out in the subsequent two fiscal quarters, at the end of the year, at the end of the following year, and beyond as a result of doing so. Checkers is a game that good leaders should be able to play, but chess is for great leaders.
3. Be Humble
You should know that you are not the only one who has brilliant ideas. This indicates that those in leadership positions are responsible for maintaining an honest assessment of their own significance, which frequently involves the input of an objective third party. It also involves having the humility to acknowledge the input of others and respond appropriately, regardless of who provides that input. It is wonderful when someone is able to provide honest critique in a way that is both kind and constructive. Resist the desire to “get them back,” though, even if they deliver the message in a less than pleasant manner. Instead, you should only concentrate on the meat of the message, and not how it is delivered.
4. Keep a productive routine in place.
When leaders have access to a productive schedule, they are able to consistently conduct their best thinking. It is necessary to get an adequate amount of rest and to take some time away from work — even only to think about it. Because the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected, this also implies embracing everything that is required for a healthy state of being across all three.
Keeping a beneficial schedule can provide you with the following two distinct benefits:
It encourages a thoughtful approach that is both strategic and creative. If you don’t look forward at a variety of time frames and think strategically about how to approach each one, you can’t possibly lead a business. Here is where imaginative and original thought can be found. To compete for that Z-one spot, you need to be at the top of your game mentally, physically, and spiritually.
It demonstrates how to have a balanced life outside of work. The supervisor sets the schedule for many leaders, including how long they will work each day, when they will begin working, etc. If you react to emails over the weekend, people will assume that this is the standard procedure. Working or thinking about work around the clock is the exact opposite of what the brain needs, which is rest and rejuvenation.
5. Practice self-control
You will be able to properly hear and process what is being communicated by another individual or within a group if you are able to press the pause button on emotion-driven impulses. You will also be able to reply with reason and intention and logically document shared views for subsequent study if you are able to do so. This ability allows you to think in a more logical and in-depth manner, as well as evaluate any and all ideas – or combinations – in order to formulate the most effective strategy for obtaining your desired result. It is also necessary for you to put aside your ego and have a deep comprehension that finding the optimal solution is the only thing that truly matters.
6. Go to where the people are
Understanding the importance of listening to others and actively seeking to do so are two traits shared by all successful leaders. The challenge here is to reduce your own filters so that you can stop making assumptions based on your point of view. You can do this with the assistance of a skilled coach, who will also provide you tools to refine your inquiry skills so that you can ask excellent questions at the appropriate times to draw others along. These are the kinds of inquiries that do more than just elicit information; rather, they provide a window into what makes that person tick.
7. Let your truths be heard and known
It is critical to solid working relationships, which are essential to becoming a great leader, that kind facts be told. These truths are important building blocks of trust. You can’t be a great leader and do everything on your own; you have to achieve through the efforts of others, through teamwork and through influence. What kind of influence do you have? Thru the cultivation of trust.
Some examples of truths that are kind:
It should go without saying. Bring up the topic that everyone is ignoring. In any case, it is already obvious to everyone.
Deliver honest criticism in a gracious manner. Avoid using “shame language,” which is when the word “you” is used combined with “should” in the past tense, such as in the phrase “You should have known better.” Instead, refer to the action, and not the person who committed it.
Speak without mumbling. Because we don’t want to cause the other person any distress, we frequently attempt to couch our criticism in more diplomatic terms. But because of this, the feedback is garbled and ambiguous; on the other hand, loving truths are clear.
Ask for and listen to people’s direct feedback. The vast majority of workers lack the courage to voice their criticisms to their superiors. Instead, you should question them by inquiring, “What I hear you not saying is…do you feel like this is true?” You will be taken aback when they respond with “Yes, wow, that’s right.” if you ask the question in an inquiring and non-confrontational manner. The important thing is to do action about it at that point.
Take action based on the feedback. When someone provides you feedback, you should reflect it back and ask them what changes they would like to see, effectively asking what they would like to see changed. After that, you may discuss how plausible it is and mold it such that it identifies just what aspects of it need to be altered or improved. Then, make a commitment to carrying it out and set a time when you will meet with them again to discuss the differences they have observed. The next step is to establish a system, any system that will work for you, to achieve this behavioral adjustment as quickly and effectively as possible.
8. Use mutual aid
The act of exchanging items with other people in order to achieve mutual gain is an example of the concept of reciprocity. If you don’t contribute to others for their own good, you can’t call yourself a true leader or a great leader. They will never stop giving to you, and the more responsibility you take on, the more they will help you. Give them what they gave you, and give to everyone. They did not simply take every advantageous thing that was presented to them; rather, they gave at least as much, if not more, than they took. All of the great and successful leaders of our time contributed at least as much, if not more, than they took.