What makes the mark of a good leader? Here are 9 points from The OpinionPanel Community that will help you become a good leader:
As a leader, the lifestyle you lead is being copied by your followers; they always look up to you for guidance. The example you set is what those beneath you will try to replicate in their own work, as well as when they take on their own leadership roles elsewhere.
There is a distinct difference between manager and team member. Leaders need to understand the nature of this difference; it informs their image, their actions and their communication. They must conduct themselves in a way that sets them apart from those beneath them, but never in a manner that suggests they are better than others.
All leaders must make tough decisions; it comes with the role. Leaders understand that in certain situations, difficult and timely decisions must be made in the best interests of the whole team, and that the firmness and authority required to make these decisions might not always please everyone. Extraordinary leaders don’t hesitate under pressure, and they always know when to involve the whole team in making a decision.
The best leaders address problems in private, with a genuine concern. The best leaders guide employees through challenges, always on the lookout for solutions to foster the long-term success of the team. Instead of making things personal when they encounter problems, or assigning blame to individuals, leaders look for constructive solutions and focus on moving forward.
Taking responsibility for the actions of everyone on the team is a hallmark of great leadership. Great leaders follow up on all outstanding issues, check in on subordinates while monitoring the effectiveness of the whole team’s performance. When things are going well, good leaders praise those making a difference, and when problems arise, they identify them quickly, seek solutions, and get things back on track.
Not only are the best leaders confident, but their confidence should be contagious. Team members ought to be naturally drawn to their leader, seek their advice, and feel more confident as a result. When challenged, leaders don’t give in too easily, because they know their ideas, opinions, and strategies are well-informed and the result of much hard work. But when proven wrong, leaders take responsibility and quickly act to improve the situations under their authority.
In every situation, good leaders should be found to radiate positive energy, always helpful and genuinely concerned for other people’s welfare. Ever-possessive of solutions, good leaders are always prepared to reassure and inspire confidence, avoiding personal criticism and pessimistic thinking. When in a position of leadership, always be on the lookout for ways to gain consensus and get people to work together efficiently and effectively as a team.
Strong leaders treat people the way that they themselves want to be treated. They are extremely ethical and believe that honesty, effort, and reliability form the foundation of success, embodying these values so overtly that no employee doubts their integrity for a minute.
Planning and organisation are integral to good leadership. Leaders should think through multiple possible scenarios when approaching new tasks while considering viable alternatives and designing strategies. They communicate their plans to key players and have contingency alternatives if last-minute changes require a new direction (which they often do).