Leadership Qualities You Need to Succeed
The world is full of followers, and it doesn’t look like the supply will be running out anytime soon… but you’re not a follower, are you? You’re a leader – a superhero in the making, and you’ve got what it takes to make it as a business woman. On the other hand, are you sure you’ve got all the characteristics of a leader? Before you go getting ahead of yourself, check off this list of notable leadership traits that every business woman needs.
Drive & Motivation
Just as a car needs fuel for its engine in order to run, a leader needs to be focused and motivated to do the best job they can. The drive to succeed is one of the most important qualities of a good leader. Without drive and motivation, performance is lacklustre, and those in a position of authority tend to fumble around, getting little work done. A motivated leader inspires her team to do the best job possible with any task or project.
Putting your best foot forward shows that you mean business, but it also means that you are giving your full effort to support and grow your company. Whether you’re a CEO or still in middle management, this leadership quality will get you farther than you think.
Have you ever worked at a company where your boss wasn’t clear on what he or she wanted? Things tended to get a bit confusing, and your boss would often get angry that you weren’t meeting their expectations. But how could you? You didn’t have a clear vision of what they wanted, and they just gave you the same answer when you asked for clarification.
Don’t be that boss. Being a great leader means you also have to be a great communicator. You’re in a leadership position because you’re supposed to know what’s going on, and you should be able to explain every last detail to your team. Granted, if they’re in a certain department, they should have a basic understanding of their job function, but your team still needs direction in clear, concise terms. Don’t be vague; help your team to understand.
The Titanic sank because it didn’t change course despite warnings that there might be icebergs ahead. As we all know from history, it ended up sinking after hitting an iceberg. Had the captain simply changed course when he knew he needed to, the situation could have been avoided. You might say he wasn’t displaying good leadership qualities.
A big part of being a leader is having the flexibility to change course when needed. There’s no cookie cutter situation where everything goes according to plan every time. Situations change, and new solutions may be needed that diverge from the original plan. Leaders need to have the flexibility and foresight to deal with any situation, whether it’s a late shipment or a full-blown natural disaster. Just remember that getting to your goal is the biggest concern, not the way you get to it. If one path doesn’t work, try another!
Being the boss is tough. It’s stressful, the hours are crazy, and you go home feeling tired every night, only to wake up and do it all over again the next day. We get it. It takes an enormous amount of patience to be a great leader, so start doing yoga and meditation if you have to – you need to keep your cool at work because a lot can happen in a given day.
Maybe one of your new hires isn’t catching on as quickly as they should be. So much for being a quick learner, you think. Don’t get mad or upset. Reassure them that they can do this. They may just be nervous and on edge. After all, a lot of bosses aren’t very forgiving when someone screws up. Perhaps they had a bad experience at their last job, and they don’t want to let you down. Take a deep breath and help them as best you can. Instil in them a sense of confidence, and they may just turn out to be the best worker you’ve ever had!
If you don’t remember being the company newbie and struggling to find your place in your new work environment, you’re lying to yourself. We’ve all been there, every one of us. Getting all high and mighty now that you’re in a leadership position only serves to hurt your work relationships. It may even hurt your personal relationships, so come down off of your high horse before it’s too late.
The best way to destroy relationships with your co-workers is to act like you’re better than them. Yes, you may be in a leadership position, but that doesn’t make you superior to other human beings. Build respect and confidence by taking a humble (but firm) position on key issues. Work with all levels of employees to create synergy in your department and throughout the company. Fail to do so, and you may just isolate yourself from everyone.
In short, be the boss you always wanted: the person who takes the time to work with their team and motivate them, not degrade them and humiliate them. Be kind and respectful. Be passionate. Be a great leader!
Leadership Advice from Leading Businesswomen
We reached out to some of the world’s leading businesswomen to ask: What qualities make a great leader? Here’s what they had to say
A great leader has the ability to lead in such a way that people naturally want to follow her. It’s not so much personality traits - as these can be relevant to different people - but what makes people want to join her ‘tribe’. Holly Martin, Founder, Just Holly
A leader isn’t afraid to make those tough decisions (i.e. letting a toxic employee go) but will listen and collect facts before flying off the handle and making those decisions erratically or emotionally.
Misti Cain Chief Advyzzor, whyzze.com
Great leaders have the ability to stand their ground when necessary but at the same time create and environment that encourages dialogue and differing opinions. They also have the ability to understand what motivates someone and can tailor their communication with them accordingly to get the most out of that person.
Ann Gaffigan, Chief Technology Officer, National Land Realty
Great leaders recognize that they don’t know everything, and can’t make decisions in a vacuum. They bring in perspectives and knowledge from external specialists with deep expertise in the topic at hand - the key is identifying when and who to engage - then applying a lens of common sense and gut instinct to make the final call.
Angela Bradbury, CEO, Chime Advisors
Would you like to share your Leadership advice? Tell us in the comments below