20 Signs of Leadership Excellence

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There are more than twenty different leadership styles, depending on the books or articles you read. An autocratic leader, for example, is generally a one-sided decision-maker, while a democratic one encourages input before making decisions. A delegative style, meanwhile, assigns responsibility and decision-making to other managers. But like most things in life, style isn’t nearly as important as substance. Whether you aspire to be an authority figure or already are, here are 20 qualities that encompass great ones.

1. Compassion and Empathy: When a leader demonstrates these qualities, they earn the respect and loyalty of those around them: it’s as simple as that.

2. Emphasis on open communication: Leaders should ensure employees have a voice and a platform to express their thoughts.

3. Expresses clear expectations: A responsible person is accountable for expressing expectations in a way that employees can follow and regularly evaluating processes and progress.

4. Always Teach: Most great employees are made. A great manager recognizes that a critical aspect of their job is to teach and expand the knowledge base of employees. Think of it like banking: you can either put money in a savings account and watch it slowly grow, or invest and watch it grow exponentially faster.

Related: Why servant leadership is becoming the leadership style of the future

5. Inspires others: Inspiration is about generating creativity, loyalty, dedication and all other positive qualities that employees should possess.

6. Lead by example: Anyone in a position of authority should hold themselves to the same expectations as others.

7. Seizes Opportunities: Change and challenges can be seen as problematic, but an able leader sees them as opportunities to adapt, learn, and grow.

8. Fosters Creativity: Employees inevitably have performance resources beyond their assigned duties. Each of them has the ability to bring new perspectives and ideas, so encourage that.

9. Encourages Feedback: All leaders generally have the final say, but the best solicit, listen, and consider feedback before taking action.

10. Empowers others: The best way to grow successfully is to encourage others to make constructive contributions—voluntarily assigning employees important tasks and soliciting innovation from them.

11. Provides Transparency: Whether what needs to be said is good or bad, a leader provides communication clarity that inspires trust and loyalty and reduces stress.

12. Takes Responsibility: Nobody is perfect and nobody should expect perfection from others. Part of being a successful authority figure is admitting mistakes.

13. Is authentic: Most people don’t want to feel patronized or attracted to them. Be yourself and be honest, and you will inspire others to do the same.

14. Recognition of Efforts and Results: Recognition is a powerful tool: it sends the message that you see and appreciate the actions of those around you. Every employee is valuable, yes, but each of them needs to be told exactly why.

Related: What is the real difference between leadership and management?

15. Is Loyal: From sales to productivity (or lack thereof), loyalty manifests in many ways, and the best way to encourage it is to demonstrate it.

16. Reward excellence: Excellence should be a high standard that is not easy to achieve, and there should be an appropriate reward for those who achieve it.

17. Success Sharing: Whether through profit sharing, career advancement, or other bonuses or opportunities, when a company experiences successes, it should share them with those responsible for them.

18. Avoids distractions: A great leader has the vision, mission, and values ​​that help define a company. If something is inconsistent with or discourages these principles, it should be removed or avoided.

19. Active listening and observation: We learn by observing and listening, not by talking and directing. Make time each day to refine those guide antennas.

20. Asks for help: There is probably no better way to make someone feel valued and valued than by asking for help. Your humility as a leader will pay off tenfold. Finally, great leadership is not inherent in everyone and should not be limited to those in power; it is a process that can and must be cultivated.

Related: How asking for help can mean the difference between success and turning off

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