“Flexibility, creativity, and, critically, the need to leave your ego at the door”, Steve Gates, founder and CEO of The Gap Partnership, says are some of the overlooked qualities which characterise great negotiators, and are just as often forgotten by leaders trying to achieve results and drive their businesses forward.
When great leaders are spoken of, flexibility, desire, and passion are often-pointed as key attributes topossess. However, skills such as understanding and fostering teamwork, recognising the importance of building relationships in the workplace, and the critical role of ego in sustaining great leadership starts from within, are often overlooked. These skills can play a decisive role in managing and maintaining success, deriving from powerful leadership.
What is your role as a leader?
Great leaders understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as those of the team around them. As mentioned by Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, in order to achieve collaboration and success it’s vital to build a strong team who share the same goals, ambitions and purposes as company values.This is only achieved if in management of a strong leader.
Empowering individuals and creating a strong team culture is often a gateway to creativity and innovation. Understanding your teams capabilities, picking the right people, and building trust fosters an environment where employees feel free to express ideas. A calming environment is more likely to encourage the effectiveness of work, breeding success. Similarly, recognising capabilities allows for identification of limitations, effective delegation, and overall team efficiency. Most importantly when understanding your role as a leader, it’s important to lead, but not dictate.
Build relationships within working environment
Beth Schaefer, recipient of the EDUCAUSE 2015 Community Leadership award, highlights how connecting with others is one of the most effective ways to lead. Encouraging an open, honest, and respectful working environment,showing compassionate and respect towards colleagues will enhance creativity and responsiveness among teams, building strong relationships within and outside of your company.
Strive to inspire those around you
An unhappy, unmotivated, and disengaged employee is very unlikely to produce exceptional work and drive innovation. As a leader, it is up to you to inspire your employees, leading by example through work ethic, passion and commitment. This is arguably one of the most important qualities in a leader.
Recognising the important role each individual plays in creating success is key to ensuring you are creating an energised workforce who buy into your mission and understand how to achieve it. Inspiring leaders that are able to motivate those around them, creating a strong culture often hold some of the following common qualities:
• Enthusiasm; make sure you are inspired yourself before you attempt to inspire others.
• A clear vision that is bold, concise, and most importantly, consistent. To ensure company vision – and thus motivation – is not lost make sure to regularly communicate your vision throughout the entire company.
• Highlight the impact of their actions; how does your service or product, and thus your employees, help build a better world? Increasingly, employees are looking for companies who impact society and tackle modern issues. If you can identify where your company makes a difference and communicate that throughout your organisation you are more likely to attract and maintain a motivated and engaged workforce.
• Invite participation and go beyond “listening”; Embracing employee diversity and inviting different individuals into the creation process will foster innovation, as different perspectives and knowledge of areas of your company can help highlight weak spots and best practices.
Don’t let ego’s get in the way
No.1 Reason Leaders Fall Short, a piece published by Forbes magazine, perfectly identifies how ego is the main inhibitor to leadership, pointing out how even the most talented of leaders can easily be blinded by their own vision of self-worth.
Ego, and more specifically the negative dynamics it brings to a team, prevents appreciation for other people’s talents and squanders a leader’s main role: bringing out the best in people. As a leader it’s important to remember that company success is always a result of a team effort, not an individual. Recognise that leaders are not the sole player of a winning formula, and remain grounded in the face of success.
By following these top tips and skills will help to improve and advance leadership skills, bringing better chances of a welcoming, energised and successful working environment.