With great roles comes even greater responsibility. This is true in all walks of life, including leadership. Being a leader is not a cakewalk.
Leadership is a skill that helps maximize the efforts put in by a group of people to achieve the goal.
Over the years, many of us have built a wrong notion for the meaning of “Leadership”.
We think that leadership positions come with – titles, seniority, experience, higher pay, and an extroverted charismatic personality.
While the reality is that none of this is true. You don’t have to have all these factors to become a leader.
You can be a leader at your home, community, neighborhood, and any organization.
All you require is the social skills to maximize the efforts put in by a group of people to achieve the task.
Leadership and personality development
You might be familiar with the phrase “Great leaders are born, not made”. The reality is that leadership can be both an acquired trait as well as an inherited trait.
Acquired trait refers to traits and skills that an individual develops throughout their lifetime.
Whereas inherited traits refer to traits and skills present in an individual from the time they are born.
There are also chances that some people might not be aware of their leadership qualities until they are put in the situation.
Before we begin with this topic. Let’s keep in mind that there is no perfect definition for a leadership style.
Every individual might have a different style of leadership based on the experience, strength, weakness, and challenges faced by the team.
Moreover, since leadership is a personality trait, it can even evolve over the years.
But, there are certain fundamental traits and qualities that generally all individuals in leadership positions possess.
Here are some of the qualities that will help you in your leadership position:
- Good Communication Skill
One of the essential qualities that can make you a great leader has good communication skills.
Interpersonal communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, play a significant role.
Therefore, it is important that as a leader, you not only motivate your team to maximize their potential but also understand their problems and discuss how you can find a solution to curb it.
Communication is always a two-way street. You cannot expect excellent yield if you do not set up a feedback system and find a win-win solution.
- People Management Skill
As a leader, you have the responsibility to manage and motivate a group of people to work to their fullest potential.
Therefore it is essential that you have great people management skills.
So that you can boost and motivate your team members to give their best and channelize their energy in the right direction in order to match your organization’s goals.
This will also give them a sense of responsibility and improve their efficiency.
It will also show them that they are being valued in this organization and their contribution matters. Positive affirmations will reflect in their output.
- Ability to make decisions and be accountable for them
You should have great decision making skills because your decision is going to influence and affect the entire team.
Therefore, you should make sure that your decisions are based on keeping in mind the entire team and not just an individual.
Most importantly, as a leader you should be accountable for any decisions you make.
Especially at a workplace environment you should have the ability to make smart choices based on facts and figures. Most importantly, be firm with your decisions.
When you are not firm with your decisions this will reflect negatively.
As your subordinates will have a notion created in their minds that you are not sure about what, when, and how to do tasks, this may create trouble in the team dynamics as they may start losing their trust in you.
- Managing different stakeholders
As a leader, you should be a good manager too.
You should know the art of managing different stakeholders by efficiently coordinating between various teams and completing the tasks effectively.
So, it means that it’s not only your responsibility to guide and mentor your team to deliver their best but also making sure that you give timely updates, manage and deliver any request coming your way from any of your stakeholders.
- Utilising time efficiently
Time management is a critical aspect of both personal and professional life.
It is very important that you manage your time effectively so that you can meet your daily targets.
Many at times, the young members of the team are highly influenced by their seniors.
Hence, you have an even greater responsibility to step up and set a good example for them.
It is rightly said that time, once gone, is gone forever.
So, make sure that you have a good work-life balance and the ability to make smart choices on which work to prioritize. This would help you in a long way.
Loopholes in the Industrial Leadership System
According to statistics, if we take a closer look towards Industrial/Organizational leadership, 77% of corporations experienced leadership gaps in 2019.
The primary reason being that millennials are looking forward to joining workplaces that have great leadership development potential so that they can grow professionally.
On the other hand, organizations are looking to hire individuals who already have experience in leadership roles, this is disrupting the entire process.
Share knowledge and grow together
Sharing knowledge and growing together is another important aspect of leadership.
As a leader you should be aware that your juniors look up to you for guidance and motivation.
One huge problem that we are facing today is that we have started making everything a competition and nobody wants to share their recipe of success to one another.
By not sharing knowledge, you limit the possibilities of the potential you could reach by collaborative teamwork.
So, it’s vital that you give your best and justify your position as a leader by sharing what you have learnt over the years, it will be a great learning experience for your team.
Sharing knowledge and growing together will make the team bond stronger as this will help everyone increase their productivity, helps everyone stay motivated and gives a sense of purpose.
This would also help the new team members learn new skill sets and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and feedback can help create a balance in the team.
As, even the members who are struggling with some aspect of the workflow can learn from each other.
Any kind of knowledge would not only help them professionally but even personally.
Great leaders live forever
Great leaders live forever as they manage to win the heart of the masses.
Let’s take an example of one of the brightest minds of cricket – Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He is fondly known by the name – Captain Cool. If you think about it, we are not directly managed by him but we still agree with the fact that he is Captain Cool; why?
This is because of his leadership style. Since he is in the public eye, we get to know how he is as a captain, and people from various walks of life have taken inspiration from him for leadership.
He is known to handle pressure very well in challenging times, he is highly focussed, manages failure very well, is very versatile, and most importantly, backs his people.
Remember that even if you are not in the glare of the public eye, you still win the hearts of many, and your presence would always be remembered by your colleagues.
Wrapping Up: How to be a better leader?
Every individual might have a different definition for ‘Leadership’.
Ultimately what makes a great leader are the fundamental qualities like Communication, Integrity, People Management, Empathy, and Courage.
As a leader, you have to always put your team before yourself and make a collaborative effort to achieve goals.
This means that you are here to learn, grow and motivate each other as a team. One of the most critical aspects of leadership is good communication skills.
Communication is a two-way street, so optimum effort should be put by both sides in order to work effectively and deliver the output to its fullest potential.