Who Makes A Great Leader?

Facilitating Photo
Article by Lois James

Have you ever noticed that a person’s leadership skills are strongly connected with their personality traits? This means that different people have different natural leadership strengths. Many people believe that leaders are born. Others believe that leaders are made through growth opportunities, experience, and training. There is no doubt that some people naturally rise to the top quickly while others hone their skills over years of learned experience. Either way, having leadership soft skills, especially in today’s world, is crucial for being a successful leader. How can you identify your natural leaders? Look for the following:

Initiative: In every culture, there are employees who do what is expected of them and not much more. But, fortunately, there are also employees who naturally step up and take on more responsibility and initiative – the ones who have the potential to be great leaders.

Effective Communication: Someone who practices active, empathetic listening is more likely to be a successful leader. The ability to listen, understand, and give others a voice demonstrates true leadership. Being able to communicate clear messages and expectations and make complex ideas understandable is also a sign of a leader. Effective communication is about both listening and explaining information clearly with all levels of an organization.

Personal Leadership and Motivation: Another crucial skill for effective leadership is being able to not only inspire and motivate others but to inspire and motivate yourself. Before you can lead a team, you have to be able to successfully lead yourself. Most people do not invest enough time and effort into developing themselves – one of the most important things leaders can do. People follow by example, and if leaders set the example of continuously improving themselves and motivating themselves, others will follow.

Strategic Thinking Transformed to Actional Steps: Strategic thinking and turning ideas into action are skills needed on every level. For upper management, developing strategies to take the organization into the next 5 to 10 years is just as important as the entry level and mid-level managers’ ability to understand and carry out those strategies. Great leaders give their team members the flexibility and opportunity for growth when they encourage team members to develop new ideas to accomplish these long-range strategies.

Goal Setting and Tracking: The best way to accomplish short- and long-range strategies is to set, track, and accomplish goals. Someone who plans, sets, and accomplishes goals for themselves and for their teams that are in alignment with company goals is a great example of an effective leader. Once goals are set, efforts must be made to motivate and encourage others to see the value of the goal and to engage everyone in the team in reaching the goal. Great leaders accomplish more measurable results and profitability for the organization when they set and accomplish goals that include their team’s buy-in and commitment.

Employees who show the potential to be great leaders often already have some of these leadership skills and only need encouragement and support from upper management to sharpen them. But leaders at all levels should be striving to continuously improve their leadership skills. At OpX Solutions, we help individuals and organizations sharpen the many leadership skills necessary to be successful both professionally and personally. We provide a system that helps people set goals and accomplish them by focusing on high payoff activities. Being more efficient, effective, motivational, and profitable exemplifies a great leader. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help your leaders excel: www.OpXSolutionsllc.com.

This article was published in  Valley Business FRONT, Issue 147, December 2020. Top Photo: Lois James facilitating at EZ Rampz Mobility Solutions in Roanoke, VA.


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