When you think of leadership, you are actually thinking about influence. At its core, leadership is really about influencing the people around you, and moving them in a certain direction to obtain certain goals or objectives.
When looking for leadership in your business or organization—perhaps in yourself—consider the following 12 factors to improve your leadership skills or to help you identify those individuals in your organization who can take over leadership positions.
Motivation is a huge key to any successful enterprise. Remember, what motivates one person may not motivate another. True leaders can quickly identify motivating factors in an individual, to move them or influence them in a certain direction. Some of the strongest motivators include money, fear, time and power. In most cases, individuals will be motivated by several factors. However, one factor will prove to be the dominant one. When you find out what it is and how to use it, your ability to influence will be significantly improved.
Tolerance is the ability to respect others’ views, without selling yourself out. It is of utmost importance to understand where the people or organization are coming from and to realize that they may not understand your position. To accomplish this, you must be an excellent communicator.
Trust is necessary to create the right environment. Consider the three sides of a triangle—or the BLT, which stands for Believe, Like, and Trust. Your goal is always to attempt to have individuals and businesses Believe, Like and Trust you and your organization. When you accomplish this, you are well on your way to professional and personal success.
Purpose is your mission—the driving forces behind your business. You should clearly know and understand your purpose and the purpose of the individuals around you. In some cases, your team may not fully appreciate the real purpose of their job or their organization. It is a leader’s job to effectively convey his mission and purpose to others. Leaders not only know their purpose, but also the purpose of those around them.
All leaders have a clear picture of how the ideal future will look. It is important that a vision include values, and it is critical that real leadership make sure that the people and organization agree with the vision. When a leader’s vision does not match the organizational vision, they will have problems.
This may seem like a small thing, but a positive attitude can make a big difference and conversely a negative attitude can also make a big difference—but not in a good way. People and organizations feed off of leaders, and those with positive attitudes will receive the best response.
A leader’s awareness is the understanding of not just his or her own identity, but the identity of the surrounding people and the organization they represent. Each and every individual has a core identity; the awareness to understand that core will improve your leadership.
It is impossible to become an effectual leader without this trait. Failure often accompanies leadership, and those who are not determined will never get off the mat and pull themselves back up. When determination starts to disappear, leadership will begin to fail. Determination never takes a vacation or gets sick; it should be working every day.
A great leader must have faith that he or she will succeed, but equally as important is faith in the people and organization around them. The best leaders believe in themselves first, and this belief is critical in order for your organization and the people around you to believe in you.
Leaders are always looking for new ideas and different places to find them. Leaders are not afraid to solicit new ideas from others. Businesses constantly need new ideas to improve their products and /or services, and some of the best ideas are inspired by something or someone.
Effective leaders know how to control their emotions and do not allow others to control them or to dictate their reactions. Willpower is critical for all leaders and is absolutely necessary to succeed. Life and business are very similar; things will almost never go as planned, so be prepared.
Patience means that no matter what the challenge is a leader never gives up. Your business and people around you sense this and respond to it. Patience goes hand-in-hand with commitment, which means that when a leader says something, he does something. A leader takes action steps, sets examples, and when this is done, people and organizations respond.
It is interesting how patience appears last on the list; however, success and effective leadership happen over time, not overnight.