Guest blog by Nicolle Germain, MBA
Are you a current or aspiring leader? Leadership is not an easy task, nor always a desired one. It is likely one of boardroom leadership the most challenging positions within an organization, no matter the level, size, location, or industry. This is a major reason not everyone wants to assume the roles and responsibilities that come along with leadership. Some people are naturally successful in their positions, while others struggle. There are numerous elements that make a leader great. Whether you are a leader today or strive for leadership down the road, here are some important qualities to remember.
Do you have character? This is one of the most important ‘intangible’ assets you can have as a leader that is a major foundation for your success. Do you have integrity? Are you honest? Are you humble? Do you see yourself as an equal to those you work and collaborate with? Character is what defines a great leader. It can not be seen or earned in one small act, but acrued over time by being true to your followers.
Are you able to establish ‘LRT’? This is a favourite term used by the team at X5. When you build mutual LRT with people you work with where you’re Likeable, Respectful and Trustworthy – you will in turn establish a stronger connection and relationship with others. LRT must be earned and continuously nurtured, so you must work to maintain LRT throughout your relationships and organization.
Do you inspire and motivate? A great leader inspires and motivates their followers in many ways. When people see a vision for a company, understand their purpose and have the resources, tools and support to do and grow in their job and workplace, the opportunities are limitless. True leaders make decisions for tomorrow that enable people to be successful today.
Are you able to foster ownership? Great leaders are able to let go. They let go of the day-to-day operations and details, thereby empowering their followers by giving them ownership over their tasks and within their responsibilities. When you ‘helicopter’ over people and their work, you stifle creativity and increase levels of frustration. Ownership breeds accountability, autonomy and fosters engagement in the workplace.
Have you learned to connect? Communication is a critical aspect of working with others, but the most effective communication is when you truly connect with other people. Connection is the vital component. This is where you understand your audience, their motives, and their goals and objectives. When you truly understand the purpose of your conversation, and listen to both verbal and nonverbal cues, you will connect with others and successfully communicate with them.
Are you personable? Do you know the people you work with? It’s sometimes hard to not focus on work, but being personable and friendly in the office can go a long way. Many leaders do not create a real relationship with their colleagues. There’s no need for Sunday dinners together, but a simple hello in the morning or a chat about the weekend or personal interests can help nurture and foster a positive working relationship that can bode well down the road.