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Good leadership is not about rank or status. Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader. There are many examples of people with high-ranking management titles who do not demonstrate any of the qualities of great leadership and vice versa.

Whilst leaders of organisations also require vision, strategic foresight and decision making capability, if we get the people side of leadership right, it doesn’t matter whether you’re leading a company or a small team. These skills will take you to the next level and are paramount to success.

So what are the 5 qualities that turn good leaders into great leaders?

  1. Stay positive, even when the chips are down

Great leaders know that their teams are a mirror for their own attitudes and approach. Staff do a lot of ‘boss watching’ to ascertain boundaries, work ethic, standards, expectations and attitude. Our attitude and approach is contagious so ensure that yours is something your staff wants to catch. Find ways to be positive and exhibit a positive attitude, even if you’re having a challenging day.

What you can do:

  • Boost your own levels of positivity with music, re-framing techniques or a gratitude journal
  • Always focus on solutions, find a way to improve difficult situations and problems.
  • Smile – often!
  1. Have a sense of humour

We spend almost two thirds of our lives at work so great leaders appreciate the need to lighten the atmosphere, encourage playfulness and good humour within their teams.

What you can do:

  • Laugh at yourself. Staff will trust you more if you’re willing to share your mistakes and experiences in a light hearted way.
  • Introduce the concept of ‘fun breaks’ where those who are feeling they need an energy boost can organize a quick fun activity for themselves and anyone else who’s interested such as a paper aeroplanes race or a quick game of ‘Heads up’. This concept was introduced by the CEO of Camp Quality and served to increase morale and productivity, and reduce sick leave by 50%
  1. Encourage a feedback culture

This is far more complex than it actually sounds as it needs to be done skillfully with positive intent. The best leaders let people know what they do well and what they can improve or do differently in the form of constructive feedback. They are open about their intent, which is solely about personal development and fulfillment of the staff members’ potential. Equally as important, great leaders are open to feedback from their staff and encourage them to provide feedback to each other.

What you can do:

  • Introduce a ‘lessons learned’ board where all staff members including the leader write what they’ve learned from mistakes they’ve made so others don’t make the same mistakes. Alternatively, this can form part of the weekly WIP meeting.
  • Emphasize lessons learned and solutions not mistakes by discouraging a blame culture
  • Ask for feedback on ideas, suggestions and approaches.
  • Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and perform better

  1. Make your staff feel safe

Great leaders make their staff feel safe in these uncertain times, irrespective of what is happening in the company itself. In order for organisations to prosper, their people need to feel genuinely cared for. Organisations such as  SouthWest Airlines have such a high staff retention rate due to its caring culture and genuine concern for it’s people which comes directly from the CEO.

What you can do:

  • Get to know your staff, what are their concerns? What’s important to them?
  • Be as open and forthcoming with information as possible.
  1. Know how and when to delegate

Great leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels. Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted. Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them.

What you can do:

  • List their strengths, weaknesses, preferences, aspirations, interests and personalities so you can delegate appropriate tasks.

Irrespective of your status, we all work with people, demonstrating these 5 leadership qualities will strengthen relationships, increase productivity and ensure success.   

                   Click here if you would like to know more about the leadership courses offered by JEM Training

Related Tag: Leadership Training Courses Perth