New To Leadership? Start Here.

Let’s face it, leadership as a topic is daunting.  There are many theories about how to best lead others. But regardless of the theory employed, there are attributes that great leaders share. Working with a Coach is a great way to increase your leadership skills in a safe environment.

Consider developing these qualities to enhance your abilities as a leader.

Confidence. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance.  Confident people inspire confidence in others. When your team sees your confidence, they believe that you know where you’re going and how to get there. Confidence is contagious and elevates morale.

TIP: Keep up morale by dealing with setbacks confidently.

Trustworthiness. One of the most important attributes of a great leader is character. People need to trust someone before they will follow him or her. This is accomplished through honesty, walking the talk, and showing respect. Keep your word and follow through. 

TIP:  It’s challenging for a team to accomplish anything without trust.

Enthusiasm. Be enthusiastic about the task at hand, your position, and the opportunity to lead. No one will be more enthusiastic than you are. Let everyone know that you believe in your mission and its importance.

 TIP:  Demonstrate the type of enthusiasm you’d like to see in your team members.

Steadiness. There will be obstacles and times of uncertainty. Great leaders can weather these situations and demonstrate the steadiness necessary to keep the rest of the team focused. These are the times your team will look to you the most. Be positive. Be confident. Be a rock.

TIP:  It’s natural to have doubts. It’s not effective to share them. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to your spouse or best friend. Keep all negativity out of the workplace.

Focus. It’s easy to become distracted, especially when things start going wrong. Learn to ignore the noise and stick to the relevant facts. Avoid looking too far ahead. Deal with the current situation and maintain your commitment.

TIP:  Focus can begin to creep when projects drag on for an extended period of time. Return to your mission statement frequently to keep your focus fresh.

Flexibility. Nearly anyone can hold the course, but only a great leader can change course without tipping over the ship. Be open-minded enough to find the elegant solution to the challenges that arise. A few course corrections are the rule rather than the exception.

TIP:  Avoid confusing steadfastness with stubbornness. It’s important to realize when it’s time to make some changes.

Communication. Be able to effectively communicate your vision to others in your group. Be willing to listen to new ideas. Provide the information required for others to do their best. Communication skills are paramount to all leaders.

TIP:  If you’re looking for a single skill to enhance, this is a great place to start.

Regardless of the leadership strategy followed in your company, these attributes will serve you well. Great leaders share many of the same attributes. Learning to demonstrate these attributes will enhance your leadership abilities and increase your power and influence at work.  Leadership skills can’t be learned and developed in a day. Bringing an idea into the marketplace requires a leader. Make yourself the obvious candidate.

 


Accelerated Talent Group is a Leadership Development and Executive Coaching firm dedicated to developing the leaders of today and tomorrow. We specialize in creating research-based Leadership Development & Corporate Learning Programs, and in coaching emerging Millennial Leaders and Women in Leadership.

Think You Know Leadership?

I recently asked my network of colleagues what they thought was the single most important characteristic of a leader.  This network is full of leaders at the top of their fields, HR experts and Managers of all industries.  So naturally, I thought many would easily respond with the evidence-based research and not unimportantly, my own experience as a Leadership Development Expert and Executive Coach.

So what is it?  Drum roll please…… it’s self-awareness.  That’s right, not expertise, management style, relationship building techniques or the hundred other characteristics that are for sure important.  But without self-awareness, all of the other attributes are negatively affected.  But why?  In the next few articles, we’ll discuss in further detail.  We’ll define self-awareness, ways to cultivate it and why it matters.

Self-awareness is “knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions” (Daniel Goleman).  Psychologists since the 70’s found this attribute was a prerequisite of self-control.  Ahh, self-control.  In my view, it’s important to understand that self-awareness is not only what we notice about ourselves, but also how we notice and monitor our own inner world.  Furthermore, self-awareness goes beyond just accumulating knowledge about ourselves.  It’s about paying close attention to our inner state.

How much do you truly pay attention to your “inner state”?

 

Part II:  Why Does Self-Awareness Matter?