I have previously discussed the leadership skills that every leader must master to create a lasting positive impact on their organisation. You cannot simply impose or force a successful culture on your organisation. It needs to be modelled and encouraged through effective and value-driven leadership that employees both understand and actively engage with. To aide in creating this style of leadership, there are 10 essential leadership qualities that are most important for success:
1. Able to inspire and motivate others. A great leader can create a compelling vision of the future, one that motivates employees to achieve it. Helping your employees connect with their role and how their tasks aide in achieving the organisational future goals is fundamental to effective leadership.
2. Works with high integrity and honesty. Operating at a certain standard, accepting nothing less than honesty, integrity and transparency both personally and from your employees is crucial to fostering trust and confidence within the workplace.
3. Effectively solves organisational problems. A great leader is focused on reparation of current operational issues and future opportunities within the market. This requires excellent analytical ability in order to locate problems and predict future growth opportunities.
4. Ability to drive results. Knowing how to drive employees towards organisational goals and exploit the skills necessary to achieve them is essential to achieving results.
5. Communicates powerfully. Great leaders communicate with their workers regularly and in a way that inspires and engages employees. With the exception of a few instances, a great leader aims to make each conversation with their employees both meaningful and engaging. Your employees are your most valuable asset: make sure they feel that.
6. Builds meaningful relationships. Related to the above point, a great leader is able to build great working relationships with their team; built on a solid foundation of trust. The stronger these relationships, the more effective your leadership endeavours will be.
7. Illustrates professional expertise. Being a valued expert in your field is essential for great leadership. Constantly learn and build upon your knowledge so that you are a trusted source of information for your employees.
8. Maintains a strategic outlook. Although it is easy to get snowed-under by the tactical issues of day-to-day operation, a great leader always maintains a view of the bigger picture to guide daily decisions towards achieving strategic goals.
9. Encourages personal development. A great leader not only consistently works on their own skills and professional expertise, but also ensures there is adequate time (and budget) for the development of their employees. A great leader is always searching for star performers within the organisation to nurture and guide in order to develop the great leaders of tomorrow.
10. Actively innovates. Innovation is an essential skill for all leaders. Not only is innovation key to staying agile within the market place, it is a main source for competitive advantage.
11. Is a champion for change. The organisational environment for most businesses is changing at a rate that is faster than ever before. This requires leaders to work with the changing environment, rather than against it. Great leaders are able to spot changes that are on the horizon, and prepare the organisation and employees to be in the correct position for when those changes occur.