All company leaders face challenges, both internal and external, as they try to exercise their leadership and steer their companies toward success. Truly great leaders, however, draw on their own strength of character and personality as they work to surmount these challenges. Here are 7 of the characteristics that define a great company leader.
The world is full of change, and in most industries the business world is an ever-changing strategic landscape. Customer preferences change, rivals launch new products or services and deploy new marketing strategies, and regulators may tighten or loosen the laws a company needs to abide by.
A flexible1 leader is one who can adapt to these changes, not merely react. Adaptable leaders modify or change their strategies as they need to, and they work to keep their organizations dynamic enough to enable them to respond to change.
Not even the greatest leader can run an organization on their own. Realistically, any organization relies on all members to be productive and contribute according to their assigned role. A leader who tries to do everything is bound to fail.
Great leaders know this, and they wisely delegate to other people. Rather than micromanage, assuming responsibility for every aspect of the running of their companies, they give subordinates chances to prove themselves.
Good delegation is based on knowledge of people as well as responsibilities. With a good eye for talent, a great leader knows how to pick the right person for a given task, boosting employee morale and rewarding excellence.
#3 Honesty & Accountability
Honesty and accountability2 are key to moral and ethical leadership. A leader who is honest about their own performance, including their own shortcomings, can model the kind of behavior needed to establish a culture of responsibility and general good behavior in an organization.
Confidence is a vital trait for attracting followers. Simply put, people gravitate toward confident leaders. Leaders with confidence can exert powerful influences on employee morale, encouraging all team members to want to contribute their best to the organization.
A leader with responsible, well-placed3 confidence has valid reasons for the stances they take. They tend to not back down easily, but they are still prepared to change course or take responsibility in cases where they are shown to be wrong.
A fundamental part of any leader’s job is to communicate. After all, by definition people rely on their leaders for direction and guidance. Leaders need the skills to communicate their visions to others, and to provide the constructive feedback needed to ensure the organization meets its goals.
Going beyond the ability to issue directives and provide course correction, a truly great leader has the ability to communicate in ways that radiate strength4 and character. Leaders who can communicate like this help their employees to become stronger, more committed members of the team
Running an organization of any size is a complex, demanding endeavor, and it pays off to be focused.5 A truly great leader knows how to plan ahead, staying focused on what has to happen and in what order. They have the kind of focus that will enable them to think through their decisions, considering different options and the impacts of choosing one thing or another.
#7 Inspiration and Positivity
The ability to radiate inspiration and positivity is another characteristic of a great leader. Without being unreasonably optimistic, a great leader can exude6 an inspirational, positive attitude that will infect others and encourage them to give their best. Motivated, happy employees are likely to be more productive and more committed to the organization.