Notable leaders have shaped our culture and history, from legendary monarchs to known heroes and famous political personalities–great leadership has always been rewarded and renowned. But what is leadership? What are the qualities of a good leader? The answer might be more complex than what we think, but in this article, we will narrow it down on three key characteristics.
What is leadership?
Though there are numerous leadership theories that try to explain how different leadership styles work, all of these have one idea in common: leadership is a process that invokes people to realize a shared objective through direct influence. Ideally, a leader is responsible for the behaviour of the group and guide it through action, communication, or other means of inspiring motivation. The effectivity of one’s leadership is directly reflected by the output or attitudes of the group.
This translates directly into the dynamics of the workplace: there is always a boss or CEO at the top of the hierarchy, overseeing the productivity of the other employees and making sure the organization achieves favourable results. Especially when starting a business, leadership skills are essential because you have to inspire people to invest in your ideas and transform it into a sustainable business.
Passionate leaders beget passionate employees
Studies in Psychology have concluded that passion is infectious. As human beings, we are instinctively social creatures that desire to fit into groups that we think are essential to our survival. Our innate tendencies dictate that we conform with or mimic the actions of the majority, otherwise we fear being excluded from the group. Whether it be a positive or a negative behaviour, people are likely to copy it or adapt it as a norm, especially when a figure of authority is perpetrating the said behaviour. As the boss or even as the owner of a small business, you need to fuel yourself with passion and enthusiasm for doing your work. This effect is often highlighted in startup businesses that resort to crowdfunding: even with a short video explaining to an audience their idea for a product or service, passionate entrepreneurs are able to successfully inspire people to donate money towards their cause. Find what drives you to work hard towards your goals and channel it, pretty soon your team members will follow your lead.
Open yourself to others
Having empathy and being considerate of others are among the important characteristics of a leader. After all, you are working with people and not just machines. People possess a varying mix of traits and undergo different circumstances, and to be an effective leader means that you have to be able to embrace these differences. Especially when working with an offshore team or managing a BPO company, you need to be open to working with people from different cultural backgrounds and walks of life.
Maintaining a stable flow of communication within the workplace is necessary, as it ensures the clear transportation of ideas between the management and the employees. This also makes you more accessible to your team members and helps diminish hierarchical barriers that may exist in the workplace. Open communication with the company’s administration encourages members of the organization to speak up regarding their concerns and offer valuable input because they feel that they are being heard.
Being a leader is not an easy job, but like any other skill, leadership can be learned and improved through practice and gaining experience. Did you learn something new from this article? Check out more of our content to help you grow more as a leader.