Find, teach, and train the right people to lead your company.
By Marty McGhie
* Confidence: In order to get people to follow, leaders must exude confidence about where they are going. Leaders who are unsure and tentative about their goals, their purpose, or their direction are destined for failure. If the team senses that their leader is unsure, they are much less likely to follow. It’s important, however, to distinguish confidence from egotism. The difference is most easily illustrated when a mistake is made: An egotist will never admit to being wrong and will either ignore the fact that a mistake has been made, pressing onward in spite of the misdirection, or blame the mistake on someone else. A leader with confidence, however, will readily admit to the mistake, take corrective action, change direction, and encourage the team to plow forward together. This type of leader will always have the respect of the team.
* Communication: The ability to properly communicate with a team is one of the most important qualities a leader can have. Many leaders believe that their communication skills have everything to do with the way they speak their message and how well they can get their employees to listen and follow. On the contrary, the most effective leaders are those who learn to listen. Listening to those whom you supervise is one of the best ways to effectively lead in any organization. Too many people placed in leadership roles immediately take it upon themselves to provide all direction, all communication, and all decisions without consulting their team members. A successful leader will utilize all members of the team by soliciting feedback, discussing direction, and getting the group to agree on where to proceed or how to tackle a problem together. That’s the nature of effective communication.
* Vision: Having a vision of where you want your team to go is an important part of leadership. But it is only part of the dynamic. Helping your employees also see your vision and then getting them to "buy in" to both the destination and the means to get there completes the idea of vision. This, of course, is directly related to the other qualities we have discussed. If you lead with energy, exhibit confidence in both yourself and your team, and communicate effectively, you will be much more effective in sharing your vision and providing the means for your group to succeed.