Every individual has their own set of leaders they look up to in their daily life. I am sure each and every one reading this blog post has a number of leaders who have influenced the way they run their business or even life. Be it in Politics or in social circles – there are leaders who have made us proud and rallied people in doing the impossible and achieving the impossible. These public figures are all over the place and in every single country has their very own to rally. In corporate circles, these are far and few. Be it from Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs and few others have made significant impact as leaders in their respective companies. They are synonymous to the company they built.
This blog post is not about how each of these true leaders transformed the industry but in introspection look at how leaders emerge in these corporates. What are the traits that we are looking for when defining such leaders.
There are two kinds of leaders. One, who are categorized as the transformational leaders and the other transactional leaders. Transformational leaders are the folks who find new paths for others to follow while the transactional are the folks who somehow make things happen for the organizations.
As we look into the corporate cultures of effective leaders, we find some remarkable visible traits that are not to be missed. These in our opinion are the non-negotiable as we look into possible leaders:
- Leaders are a strong personality yet humble in nature.
- They are kind and considerate yet not weak in their ideologies. Kindness is their strength.
- They are assertive with an attitude to win.
- Bold in their approach and yet not bullish.
- Lead the way in front of the group.
- Create a sense of awe whenever they are around.
- They show pride in their group yet not arrogant about it.
- They diffuse the situation with humor yet not hurting anyone in the process.
- They are sometimes witty and not being silly in what they just said.
- They believe in truth, numbers and accept life as it thrown at them
- Adaptation is their middle name.
These are awesome and wonderful traits that one can admire from an effective leader. Having said that, what are the 3 leadership traits we look at that defines success?
The best of the leaders have a sense of self-awareness that is undeniable. They exactly know what their strengths and so are they aware of their weaknesses. A confident leader is honest enough to recognize what are his areas of improvement. As they play by their strengths, they make sure they get the right people in their team to cover up for their areas of weakness. Finding your complimenting people who can strengthen your abilities is a marked trait of an effective leader.
The second important quality we want to call out is the ability to listen. In our world of competition, the person who first speaks and is the loudest is often heard. As a leader, it is important to hear the untold and soliciting feedback and accepting what you hear is a marked trait of a successful leader. In the corporate world, employees love to be heard and if your leader has an ear to what you speak – when you have won them over already.
The art of listening doesn’t come naturally, it requires a lot of focus. This is the same focus that helps you concentrate on what is best for your business and making it successful.
Being flexible and making the course correction mid-way if need be is one of the important trait of a successful leader. More than corporates, leaders in start-ups need to be flexible and be ready to change course as the business moves forward. As they make these changes, they are undeterred with the situation in hand and show absolute patience, calmness and maturity as they move on. We have seen leaders get out of a business early before they are consumed by the situation in hand. That is also a great trait of a leader to look out for.
We think these core traits can define how an effective leader marches his organization towards the common goal. Moreover, many of the leaders create the sense of purpose that the whole organization feels committed to in delivering. There are many leaders in this current era that have transformed their thoughts into actions and the sense of purpose into the goals for the organization. These are the leaders who exercise what the core values the company is built on and create the same sense of ownership with customers, employees and everyone who work with them.
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