Animal kingdom runs on the pecking order. There are wolf pairs, alpha male gorillas, queen bees that stand out of the rest of their species. Just as a queen bee rules over a hive, a male-female wolf pair runs the pack. Humans are just like animals. This may shock some of you but the organizational constructs such as societies and companies that exist today don’t come into being due to high-level intelligence but due to primitive survival impulses.
Leadership is an instinctive behavior. It is bound to evolve. It is this behavior that has ensured human survival on the earth. It doesn’t matter if you are the owner of a company or you are leading a department or even a family, you must cultivate certain leadership behaviors. Leadership has nothing to do with your position or title in a company. You may be the president of a company but not a leader. Leadership is about the right behavior. Here is a rundown of the key leader behaviors that make a person an effective leader.
Lead by Example
As a leader, if you want your team to exhibit certain types of behaviors, you must be able to display them in your personality first. If you expect your team members to work till late at night, you must be the last to exit the office. Show your team that you are one of them.
You must nurture transparency in your organization. Secrecy will at one point or another destroy trust in the organization. Leaders are honest and direct. They keep communication doors open all the time. An obstruction in the flow of information tends to create assumptions that usually are disruptive or lethal for maintaining motivation. People have the natural tendency to sense if you cloak something from them. When you are laying off staff or running a reorganization campaign, you ought to be as transparent with your staff as you can. Telling the truth gives them hope that boosts productivity even in trying times.
Leaders do the right thing
A poor leader has to channelize his energy to make himself sound good. He consumes lots of time spinning a story to sound good. However, a great leader does what is right. He dares to turn his convictions into meaningful actions.
A leader focuses on ‘we’ than ‘me’
Some self-proclaimed leaders remain all-time on an inflated ego trip to seek glory and to remain in the limelight. They are all the time about me, me, and me. If you want to detect these so-called leaders, you can see them on tv taking credit for the big financial success of their company and convincing the world of their great vision. By contrast, a great leader would say that his company only achieved amazing success due to the dedication, passion, loyalty, and hard work of his team.
Unshakeable Positive Attitude
Leaders are full of energy. They would display a higher level of enthusiasm, cheerfulness, and confidence. Leaders may not always be feeling positive as they too are humans and they undergo tough times just like everybody else does. What makes them stand out from the rest of the lot is their ability to hide their panic from others. They fake positivity until they gain it.
Ready to take responsibility
It is very unfortunate and heart-breaking to see an ego-driven leader feeding on the credit when his decisions work out in favor of the company. By the stroke of ill fate, if one of his decisions goes wrong, he starts blaming others for the failure. A true leader is ready to take responsibility for his bad decisions. He would say, ‘I was wrong.’ Leadership is all about taking responsibility for whatever goes wrong and awarding credit to the employees for whatever goes well.
Ability to set goals
Great leaders always are goal setters. It is said that the best way to succeed is to carve your way out to achieve the outcome you desire. Great leaders write their script to achieve the desired outcome. To reach the desired outcome, they prepare a plan and act on it.
Passion for winning
A true leader loves to win. He sees himself as the best who can produce the best quality work and who brings out the best in others. True leaders follow proven best practices that help them garner loyalty from their employees. One of those practices is a passion for winning. Your passion will inspire your subordinate staff to win in the teeth of adversity.
Winning with others
Greatness is not just standing above your fellows and issuing orders by wielding your stick. Greatness comes when you stand with your team shoulder to shoulder and help them to achieve the desired outcome. Mayo Clinic is considered one of the finest medical institutions across the world. They have achieved this high level of success because they believe that no person is great enough to stay independent of others. Great leaders win while staying and working with others.
Leaders build and nurture relationships
This principle doesn’t suggest that as a leader you should make everyone your friend. It is just not possible and unwise as well. However, you need to build a powerful, respectful, cooperative relationship with everyone. This means that as a leader you should be ready to give candid feedback to your employees to help them develop personally and professionally.
A leader doesn’t wait for a life-time sale or a miraculous business turnaround before he takes the time to celebrate with his team. He realizes that little things matter and celebrations on small achievements can create a big difference in the organization. Psychologists say that it is the small thing that leaders practice that has the greatest meaning for their teams. In stressful times, all you need is to celebrate the small achievements. By doing this, leaders shape up the culture of their organization from a pessimistic one to an optimistic one.
Leaders stay clam in turbulent times
Tough times test humans. The only way to let them pass and come out unscathed is to stay calm. By staying calm when all the others are panicking can help you set an example for your subordinates. Leave a calming influence on your team by keeping your cool when the odds are against you.
It is a fact that some are born leaders. However, it also is a fact that you can be a great leader if you practice these leadership behaviors.