At one time or another we all find ourselves in our first leadership position. We may be called to a temporary position to be evaluated for permanent one as a team leader. We might be called to a permanent position based on what the boss thinks of us.
What are the traits of a good leader? Do you know or do you just have gut feelings? While gut feelings are a good first step, traits actually spelled out give you a firmer idea of what is expected of you. Here are some that you can use as part of your foundation.
- Make a commitment to be the person your team can count on. If you are just play-acting instead of being there completely, you team will know and will not follow.
- Inspire you team. You are the example. Would you follow you? If the answer is no, you need to rethink your role, figure out what it takes for you to be willing to follow yourself and Do It. If you are willing to follow yourself, you will give out a positive self and others will want to follow, too.
- Obstacles, challenges and fires, oh my! They are going to happen. Are you going to spend hours looking at this thing. Thats not a good idea. If you know what you are trying to do, the obstacle is just something you deal with and go on.
- Speaking of goals, you need to have the vision of what you are doing that isnt just about making the money. A proper vision will keep you from being unstoppable by those obstacles and will keep your team on track.
- What do you do with your team to keep them on track and on board? You need to be supportive. If the people around you are growing and learning how to improve the team, you are doing it right.
- Being supportive would be impossible if you dont know how to communicate clearly and consistently. Without good communication skills you wont be able to explain the goals you have set or how you wish the project handled. If you are unsure of whether your ideas are clear, ask the person you are speaking to some questions . Questions are a good way of checking for understanding.
- You are probably scared if this is your first time as a leader. You might even practice your persona in front of your mirror. Then take that thing and put it in the trash, where it should go. To be an effective team leader, you want to be . . . yourself. Be present in the moment, be yourself and dont forget your fabulous sense of humor. You will need it.
- Sometimes you are going to have to change direction. If you refuse to do so and keep stubbornly heading for a particular goal, you are heading for a problem. You have to be flexible so you can be effective. The old goal was not the right direction. Forget that and make the change to a new and improved one.
- Along those same lines you need to learn from your mistakes. If you keep making the same ones, you will not be seen as a good leader. Good leaders learn from the mistakes through self-evaluation and a commitment to integrity.
- Last is that you need to change your idea of your role. What if instead of thinking that you are working, you think that you are playing a game? Why not just play it. Its just a game, if you win, you win; and if you lose, you learned something so you won.
What traits do you see in yourself? Are there some that you wish I had added? Please let me know by commenting in the box below.
Jaco Grobbelaar, owner of BroadVision Marketing, helps business owners and business professionals put marketing strategies in place that consistently secure new clients. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.799.1238. You can Like him at www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing or connect with him on www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar.
- 3 No Brainer (But Often Forgotten) Leadership Tips for Small Businesses (smallbizbee.com)
- The Measure of Leadership (linked2leadership.com)