Great leaders are just ordinary people who have certain traits that set them apart — and enable them to achieve the extraordinary. Despite differences that stem from culture, gender or age, all leaders who have been a true inspiration to their teams share similar patterns of behaviour.
They lead the way. Leaders establish their minimum benchmarks of excellence, and then set out to show others how to go about achieving them. They lay out principles for others to follow, and targets that they should achieve.
They inspire and motivate. Inspirational leaders are passionate about envisioning the future, and enthuse the team to share their vision of what the organization can become. They create exciting possibilities that everyone can achieve together, working as a team.
They innovate and challenge processes. Great leaders question existing processes, and look for ways to do the same thing in a better way. They are willing to experiment, are not afraid of risks, and take failures as learning opportunities.
Leaders delegate with care. A good leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of each of his team members. By delegating tasks appropriately, and trusting the team with his ideas, he can free up his time to work on higher level tasks.
They appreciate the efforts of others. Recognition works wonders, and by acknowledging individual contributions and celebrating accomplishments, leaders make their people work twice as hard! Genuine appreciation kindles determination, and instigates teams to work with sincerity.
They build trust and foster team collaboration. Teams that work well together achieve extraordinary success. Leaders foster team trust and strengthen teams, helping each member to work with transparency and accountability.
Above all, great leaders are honest. Honesty and sincerity should be the bedrock of any successful business. By setting themselves up as an example, leaders can influence the workspace to reflect ethical behaviour as a core value.