Imagine you’re the captain of a ship, and your crew is looking for guidance. To keep your ship afloat, you need the skills of a true leader to keep all the team members working like clockwork and showing their best side.
In business, it works the exact same way. A manager’s influence can fundamentally change the team’s environment. It alters both personal relationships and financial performance.
So, great mentors are able to guide people. They have certain traits, which are inherent only to certain individuals. What are the qualities of a true leader? We will try to answer this question in this article.
The ability to inspire and change the world for the better, to lead, guiding society to success – this is the real effective component of successful leadership.
A leader’s main goal is to bring positive shifts in the social climate. A person who changes the foundations of society can be a very significant individual.
An excellent example would be the recently departed U.S. Army general and prominent political figure – Colin Powell. Or it could be an ordinary supermarket manager Lisa, who, with a smile on her face, solves local seemingly minor problems.
Although these two personalities, taken as examples, are completely different, there are similarities between them. These are character traits that define a person capable of dealing with societal issues, regardless of circumstance or personal preference:
Next to such a person, others feel secure. It is not a matter of mere respect, admiration, or even a desire to follow suit. Being under the influence of a strong leader, people start to realize their importance.
It would be more habitual to call it motivation. Leaders motivate those around them to reach new goals. If you are wondering how you can pull this off without using the primitive methods of carrot and stick or material incentives, keep reading!
Great leaders are sometimes successful, seemingly without much effort. Nevertheless, there is always hard work and seeing perspectives beyond the day-to-day challenges behind it.
Powell managed to learn Yiddish from his boss while interning in high school. He used to say, “Gesund Dein Kepple,” which means, “Keep your head on straight.”
This example shows that a true leader is able to benefit from any situation by keeping calm and moving toward the goal. Even under the pressure of circumstances, a person of fortitude will not deviate from the chosen path.
Other traits of leaders that make them stand out from the rest:
Every person, in fact, seeks to contribute to social activities. Don’t think it’s pathetic. In fact, it’s a basic need of a human being is to leave one’s own mark. Giving people the chance to contribute and feel valued is one of the greatest purposes of a leader. What could be more encouraging?
Even the most troubled employees, who do not recognize any rules, deep down inside want to be valuable and make themselves useful. An impactful manager is able to bring out the best in people and use it for the benefit of all.
By supporting the inner human aspirations, the leader helps them establish themselves as individuals and members of society, self-actualize, and show their best sides.
From a business perspective, a leader’s role is to make the best use of human resources to achieve company goals.
When showing trust and empowering people, it is possible to increase the range of human capabilities. When people feel important, they double their resource capacity, thereby taking the company to a completely different level of business achievement.
Leaders who take mutual understanding as the basis of their relationship with subordinates not only have a positive impact on them but also achieve greater efficiency in business management. Building smooth communication without needless lackeying helps make this possible.
The behavior of a leader who values his/her employees and helps them bring benefit to all is worthy of emulation (even if this person is guided by purely business goals).
So, it’s worth trusting the competencies of your team members and helping them develop those skills.
A leader’s relationship with the people around him/her has the reverse effect as well:
The mentor, like other people, has the same inner need to be meaningful and needed.
Using leadership positions, influencing subordinates, and driving the company to success, the mentor thereby satisfies personal needs for self-actualization as well.
A true leader has certain qualities that, with some effort, everyone is capable of developing.
A successful mentor will not jealously guard his/her position. In the context of an office environment, a top manager will not undermine the reputation of colleagues by envying their success.
Instead of unnecessary competition, a leader will help colleagues in every way possible to rise and achieve greater results.
Superb mentors understand that they are only part of a whole. By following a common goal, they become not only mentors but also indispensable helpers to all.
An effective leader does not act rashly. Such people usually have goals for the distant future and a strategy for achieving them. Their decisions are the result of either careful reflection or discussion with the team.
So, if you aspire to develop yourself as a leader, you first need to have your emotions in check.
Success involves certain boundaries. What could this mean in terms of leadership?
Mentors do not violate the boundaries of their team members. This applies to:
It motivates others to take charge and progress.
Knowledge breeds skill. True leaders are constantly evolving and moving forward. Possessing necessary information becomes a priority for a mentor. This makes them highly valued and in demand.
So, your team members should not doubt your expertise. This is probably the most important aspect for gaining their respect.
It is essential for an effective leader to be trustworthy. Therefore, they are always open and honest. No guile underlies their principles, both in their personal life and in professional activities.
Strong personalities do not speculate on the subject of honesty but simply follow the rules of ethics. When expressing their thoughts, such people will not be deceitful.
It’s easy for team members to sense a catch. Be open to communication, don’t build a wall between yourself and other people because it feels like pride.
Competent managers regard the unintentional mistakes of subordinates as natural on the way to their professional development. So, their subordinates should not expect to be penalized for them. Leaders understand that such a strategy will get them nowhere.
On the contrary, they try not only to help correct the mistake but also to show people effective ways of solving the problem.
Encouragement leads to more diligence than frustration. An experienced leader takes these characteristics of human nature into account.
The manager is interested in the success of each team member. Putting the interests of the people in the foreground, leaders thereby contribute to raising the team spirit.
Of course, commitment to goals is essential. Income and business development also play a role, but this is nothing compared to the well-being of team members. Leaders never forget that.
A manager understands that one of the team’s strengths is unity. For the mechanism to work properly, the cohesive action of all its parts is important. Therefore, competent leadership involves the unification of employees, taking into account their personal qualities.
Here are great ways to get results:
It does not matter how many people an effective mentor manages. Whether it is a huge holding company or a small department, there are several behavioral traits that are not inherent in a great manager.
An effective management strategy does not accept competition. The team managers always know their own worth and are confident in their actions. They do not try to compete.
Even if team members are superior to them in something, leaders are well aware that their knowledge serves the common good. So, managers value their employees precisely because they are experts in certain areas.
A strong manager never forsakes the team. Even if someone from the team stumbles, this person will always be able to rely on the mentor. At the same time, a person will not expect to be judged. Support from the leader builds confidence.
A successful manager does not avoid defending the interests of the team. Acting as an advocate of sorts, the leader stands up for the rights of the subordinates, contributes to their advancement, and is never indifferent.
Managers see the development of the individual within the team as the most effective business strategy. So, the leader does not impede the career growth of the subordinates.
Moreover, the work process can be structured so that each participant can develop or perform new tasks.
The allocation of responsibilities is crucial. To achieve this, certain job boundaries are created. A competent manager will never overstep them.
Here are some highlights:
Leadership positions can only be held by a well-rounded person. By personal example, the mentor inspires employees to perform any work entrusted to them.
The leader’s personal success or the team’s achievements should always be perceived as a shared victory.
Managers clearly follow a common goal, and their achievements do not belong to them. The result is always more important than personal reward.
Managers who ensure prosperity within a small group or individuals who can lead entire nations are equally important to society as a whole. These people are the ones who become the driving force behind the achievement of great goals.