Successful managers and good leaders share certain practices that enable them to continue, day after day, to motivate others, grow companies and achieve personal as well as professional success. True leaders know that the qualities they need to succeed come from first knowing themselves, and then from learning all they can about the world around them. These are the skills they must practice constantly to remain focused and true to their commitments. These activities can be broken down into 5 basic steps:
Be committed to effective communication, and be honest and direct in all your communications. Don’t be afraid to “tell it like it is.” Others will appreciate your honesty and value your sincerity. Always be willing to share your vision so others can see the possibilities the way you envision them. Help them to understand ways that they can work with you to make them happen. Communicating well also means being receptive to, and appreciative of, the feedback offered by others. Let people know that you are available and willing to listen. Another important element to communicate to others is praise. Praise encourages involvement and commitment.
Know your company and your people. Understand the workings of your business from the inside out, and also remain current with innovations and new ideas within your industry. A good leader is constantly learning and growing. Be a visible presence to your people and get to know them, both on a professional and personal level.
Define your mission and vision. Take ownership of the company mission and make it your own. Develop a passion for reaching goals and share your motivation and inspiration with others. Contribute what you can to help others to succeed. As others benefit, so will you as their leader.
Be willing to take risks. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without some element of risk. For the leader of an organization or the manger of a company, risks must be taken to some extent every day. Things you must do that involve some risk include: being honest: (not everyone will like what you have to say); standing up for your beliefs (there will always be someone who challenges them); making decisions and acting on them (you could be wrong); trying something new; (you could fail). And perhaps the biggest risk of all: be accountable for the company’s success! Risk taking never comes easy, even for true leaders, but true leaders do understand the importance. They know that taking risks is the only way to move forward and make your dreams and goals a reality.
Monitor your results. In order to know how far you’ve come, you have to know where you began. Keep track of progress and measure results. Take a close look at what’s working and what isn’t and be prepared to make the necessary decisions to change things and make them work.
Following these simple principles will help every individual understand that the true qualities of leadership are there inside themselves waiting to be set free.