Tag: Leadership Qualities

Types of Leaders Every Modern Workplace Should Have

Leadership – It is a ten-letter word which is not only a quality or skill but the soul of an influential personality who sets an example through his/her actions. In today’s innovative, information-driven, and techno-friendly work environment, every employee is expected to exhibit leadership at the workplace. Being a leader not only means leading a team, group, department or an organization, but it also involves motivating and inspiring other employees to reach their full potential and work towards strengthening the business organization and nurturing profits. Good leadership skills include vision, mission, values, commitment, and motivation.

Here are a few types of leaders every modern workplace should have:

The Servant Leader

A servant leader always emphasizes on creating a collaborative work environment, where the decisions are made in a group. In this leadership style, strict hierarchies are not followed, and there are immense possibilities for everyone to learn and grow. A servant leader also empowers team members to take ownership of both success and failure. The servant-leader style is often considered opposite to the traditional way of leading, where a leader craves for both control and command. Ratan Tata is the best example of a servant leader. He guided his people to achieve the goals of the organization, along with taking care of their personal and professional efficiency.

The Mentor Coach

A mentor coach is someone who focuses on enriching personal as well as professional growth by sharing important and insightful data, feedback, knowledge, and experience. This leadership in the workplace is based on a commitment, where the leaders act as mentors and invest in coaching their employees. This not only helps them to learn new skills but also empowers them to achieve their goals in personal and professional life. Warren Buffett is not only one of the greatest investors of his time but has also helped many of his organizations’ executives become effective leaders through his coaching.

The Transformational Leader

A transformational leader empowers employees to enhance their creative skills by inspiring and motivating them. It is through accountability and delegation that this leadership style teaches the employees to be more creative and learn how to assert ownership and independence. Following the same, they can learn to find new solutions to old problems in this competitive market. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, tells his people “if you’re going to do anything new or innovative, you have to be willing to be misunderstood,”

The Team Partner

A team partner always works hard to build a strong team that, initially, works flawlessly at the individual level, and when combined as a team, creates miracles. This leadership style is based on the idea of building cohesive team dynamics, where the leaders must learn the individual skills of every employee. And later, when combined in a group, every employee can contribute their best skills to achieve a goal. Walt Disney and his “Nine Old Men” is considered one of the greatest teams in business history. Their vision and determination helped them create memorable characters in cartoon history.

The Bold Visionary

A person with bold and visionary leadership skills at the workplace focuses on ingenuity, ideation, and the power to mobilize a team towards change. All effective leaders in the workplace always push other employees to be confident, take smart decisions, and work towards the overall growth. The bold visionary leader also sets targets and goals for all to accomplish, each contributing to the organization’s growth. Steve Jobs, a visionary leader who revolutionized the world with his innovations, always used to encourage his people to think outside of the box.

Your organization needs a combination of these leadership styles to grow and outpace your competitors.

What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Leader?

Even after having spent a remarkable amount of time, effort, and money devoted to the study of leadership, we still have little agreement about what exactly leadership is. Although everyone defines leadership in separate ways, based on their knowledge and experience, they all can feel its presence when they see it. Many of us are led to believe that great leaders are born that way; however, there’s no proof that an average person cannot acquire the traits of a great leader through practice and dedication. What are those traits or characteristics to become an effective leader? Keep reading.

Optimistic & Positive Attitude

A team leader cannot have a poor attitude and at the same time expect the team members to be positive. It’s expected from a leader to stay optimistic, enthusiastic, and energetic so that their aura has that same positive effect on their team members. A leader can cultivate a positive attitude and optimism by being a believer, and staying passionate about his work.

According to Bernie Swain, the author of What Made Me Who I Am, “Leadership requires a positive attitude and passion. If you believe in yourself, stay true to those beliefs and remain driven and passionate, you can do just about anything in life.”

A Keen Sense of Humor

Among the many qualities with which leaders make unforgettable first impressions is a keen sense of humor. Leaders with a positive, uplifting attitude and a little wittiness don’t just fuel excitement in the workplace but also help balance the atmospheric intensity that exists in a high performing organization.

According to Billy Graham, a well-known American evangelist, “A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable.” With a keen sense of humor, a leader can add fun and excitement to the overly serious work culture of any organization, helping it to improve the overall employee and production output.

Complexity Manager

One of the most demanding leadership qualities is the ability to manage complexities in rapidly shifting circumstances. Learning to lead in a complex and consistently shifting environment is a vital skill for a true leader. Leaders should be able to assess the complexity of a situation before any definitive information is available, and choose definitive courses of action to resolve the underlying issues.

A Harvard Business Publishing report explains, “Managing complexities is the ability to continuously scan the environment in search of subtle trends and indicators of disruptive change, and establishing practices that allow their organization to respond swiftly to changes in their environments.”

Decision Maker

Business leaders are faced with dozens of decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. Many times these decision-makings have serious ramifications if they were not adequately thought out. Effective leaders know how to turn challenges into opportunities with their decision-making skills. Leaders who are confident in their decision-making skills can peer into the future, calculate cumulative effects, and make decisions accordingly.

The Decision Making Strategies for Leaders program by London Business School teaches to develop decision-making confidence by acquiring sophisticated skills, knowledge, and experience. These are highly required in this fast-paced world of business where you need to harness rare skills to manage risks and take others with you, according to the program circular.

Effective Communicator

True leaders are also effective communicators. They know how to clearly and succinctly explain to their subordinates everything from organizational plans to specific tasks. Having such quality is also high in demand as most business conversations today are happening either online or on phone calls. In that scenario, people with excellent listening skills – that is also a part of effective communication – and, an ability to communicate on all levels: one on one, to the department and the entire staff, as well as via phone, email, and social media can keep the workflow speedy, effective, and intact.

Creative & Innovative

Effective leaders always foster creativity and innovation in their organization. They understand that no strategy can sustain a company’s competitive edge indefinitely, regardless of how brilliant the strategy may be. Knowing that effective leaders always risk experimentation so that it can foster innovation that can steer the organization to new destinations and around the twists and turns of a changing business landscape.

Adaptive Learner

An example of bad leadership is the resistance to change. Failing to adapt to the changing landscape invites troubles not only for the person who is in charge but for the organization as a whole. On the contrary, true leaders are insatiably curious to learn and grow constantly. They utilize their critical thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, and their determination to keep pushing forward to make themselves more adaptable to the sudden circumstantial changes. This way, they are better able to seize on opportunities amid the changing landscape.

Every team or organization needs an effective leader for success. Leaders should ask themselves whether they are an effective leader for their organization. To know the answers, they should look for these (given above) characteristics in their leadership.

Quotes from Industry Leaders

Ajay Prasad
“Leadership is about laying the groundwork for your team’s success, then standing back and letting them shine.”

Gaurav Mundra
Gaurav Mundra
Businesses today are complex and business leaders are continuously staring at the unknown. However, it is extremely important to keep up your team’s morale as many of them have limited visibility unlike the leader who sees the big picture.

An important part of the business leader’s job today is to be a “shock-absorber”. Complex problems have to be faced and the business leader is not expected to pass the buck to his team. He/she is expected to break the problem into jobs which are manageable by the team and assign them to the right person. Once each person has done their job, the leader has to again put back the pieces together and make the whole count more then the sum of the pieces.

Humour also plays an important role in today’s dynamic and ever-changing business scenario. The ability to laugh at the problem and laugh at one’s own mistakes helps the team in thinking that they can try different things and find a solution rather than being scared of taking initiatives.

Sujiv Nair
Sujiv Nair
I believe that Destiny is not created by the shoes we wear but the steps we take!

Jugnu Jain
Jugnu Jain
There are SO MANY unexpected problems and issues that come up as an entrepreneur that its only an optimistic and positive attitude that can keep you sane through them. The more such experiences, the better you learn to manage complexity and become, unwillingly, unwittingly, a complexity manager.

The Top 10 Leadership Qualities That Upcoming Leaders Need to Work On

Successful leaders are the brain behind their organization’s overall strength and achievements. They are the mastermind, charged with great control over their brand around pitfalls. They easily realize when to grab opportunities and how to mobilize employees to give their best towards their company’s goal achievement.

It may appear that some people are simply talented in leadership skills, but the fact is most leadership attributes can be learned and improved with time and exercise. Effective leaders are good at finding a way to attain the right mix of charisma, enthusiasm, and self-confidence, perhaps with a solid amount of luck and timing.

No matter how you may think you acquired your leadership skills, there is always some scope to improve your abilities. Here is a compilation of 10 must-have qualities that every upcoming leader needs to work on.

  1. Self-Management Skill: It’s difficult to manage others efficiently when you are incapable of managing yourself. Self-managing implies being able to rank your ambitions and being accountable for accomplishing those aspirations. As a great leader, you must be capable of adjusting your time, focus and emotions, while staying conscious of your strengths, weaknesses and prospective sources of bias.

    Exceptional leaders are expert at managing stress and maintaining a balance between their personal and professional lives. But you must also be mindful of the value of compassion and be able to react to people and events in a proper way. You should know how to exercise self-control and discipline in your behavior, though you should refrain from becoming excessive reserved or inflexible.

  2. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs
  3. Strategic Plan of Action: A forward-thinking, broad-minded approach is essential for today’s leaders. Thinking strategically is a continuous process that involves judging your business environment. You can inculcate strategic thinking by:

    • Having genuine interest and curiosity in your company affairs and broader business environment.

    • Having flexibility in your outlook and attempt to explore new approaches and ideas.

    • Having focus on progressive thinking about your company’s functional aspects.

    • Keeping a positive mindset.

  4. Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there. ~ John P. Kotter
  5. Effective Communication: Great leaders know when to speak and when to listen. They are strong communicators and are capable of distinctly and concisely transmitting information on topics ranging from company goals to specific tasks to their employees. If people can’t comprehend or aren’t conscious of your expectations, they will fail to deliver, so it’s better to be more precise.

    You need to be efficient in communicating on all levels and modes like phone, email and social media. Communication is developed on a regular flow of verbal and nonverbal transactions of ideas and information, so try to be approachable and engage people from different levels.

  6. “Communication is one of the most important skills you require for a successful life.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer
  7. Accountability and Responsibility: Successful managers are aware of proper utilization of power and authority without provoking or suppressing employees. Great leaders hold themselves responsible and take ownership of their own errors, and they expect others to do likewise. They can function within set procedures, and be successful and efficient in their judgments.

    They recognize the importance of backing and encouraging personal identity while also knowing organizational structures and the requirement to abide by rules and policies. They are capable of balancing diverse perspectives while taking appropriate action.

  8. “Accountability breeds response-ability.” ~ Stephen Covey
  9. Persistent Goal Setting & Achievement: Great leaders are expert at setting clear goals for themselves and the company and are resolute and earnest in achieving them through their unshakable self-confidence. If you emit enthusiasm and are really charged-up regarding what you’re doing, you will naturally draw people towards you.

    Remember that penning down your goals is key to the achievements of both you and your organization. But achieving those goals can be time taking. To be a great leader, you mustn’t ever give up and be ready to march forward when others feel the urge to give up.

  10. “Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.” ~ Marillyn Hewson
  11. Vision for the Future: Being a visionary refers to dealing with change while maintaining a balance between firmness and growth. As a visionary, you will understand that ongoing change is happening everywhere, so what worked previously may not be effective forever. You must integrate new approaches without getting distracted from the primary goals.

    Extraordinary leaders are intuitive about their company’s future and create clear, tangible goals that will payback their organization. Practice being flexible and proactive as you apply new strategies and let your business model develop over time.

  12. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” ~ Warren Bennis
  13. Complexity Management: Leaders must possess such problem-solving skills that can enable them to make decisions under pressure that may, at times, involve rapidly shifting circumstances. Knowledge to lead in a complicated environment is a critical skill for any leader. Even without having a definitive clue, effective leaders must evaluate a situation’s complexity and select appropriate courses of action. This requires not only superior analytical skills but also more than average people skills.

    Great leaders are capable of studying the surroundings to discover subtle trends and signals of turbulent change and set up practices that permit your organization to react quickly.

  14. “My goal is to simplify complexity. I just want to build stuff that really simplifies our base human interaction.” ~ Jack Dorsey
  15. Creativity and Innovation: Great leaders must possess the courage to take chances in order to encourage creativity through experimentation. This will prove to be beneficial in promoting the innovation that will lead your organization to new milestones while moving in the dynamic business landscape.

    The key is to be persistent in following your goals, and broad-minded and adaptable in how you reach there. Encourage the individuals around you to invest some of their time in searching new ways through brainstorming and prototyping.

  16. “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” ~ Margaret Heffernan
  17. Encouragement for Teamwork: The people around you form the backbone of successful leadership. Team building is necessary to lead a different and unique category of people with clear-cut personalities, motivations, and skills.

    Powerful teams and teamwork play a key role in achieving several things already on this list, like creativity and innovation, effective communication and persistent goal setting & achievement. If you hire and nurture the right team, you will be forming an invincible force that will propel your organization’s success.

  18. “You put together the best team that you can with the players you’ve got, and replace those who aren’t good enough.” ~ Robert Crandall
  19. Forming Lasting Relationships: Powerful leaders not only inspire others to succeed but are capable of motivating their employees to sincerely reach out for their company’s goals. Employees who feel appreciated, and considered as an important part of the company, will push the limits to attain success for their company.

    Outstanding leaders also realize that they should be effective at networking, not only to boost their own careers but for the welfare of their organization. By forming a huge and diverse network of people, leaders set up effective relationships with everyone involved.

  20. “Our business is about technology, yes. But it’s also about operations and customer relationships.” ~ Michael Dell

Leadership Qualities to Run a Small Business Successfully

A leader is that person to whom everybody in an organization looks for when in need of a solution to a trivial or even a dire problem. But who is a leader? A facility manager in a multinational corporation, an executive partner in a partnership firm, a sole proprietor of a small business enterprise, and any person who has a job to provide directions, instructions and guidance to a group of individuals, also known as a team, with the purpose of achieving a certain goal.

Leader of the 21st Century

Leaders of past centuries were persons in command and control who used to issue directions for enforcing their execution while remaining at a distance from the daily work. Time has changed and with that, the role of a leader has also changed. Today’s leader stands in the middle of the action and is focused on identifying and developing the talent and working hard to build an environment which can nurture that talent and give it space and freedom to work creatively and efficiently in order to achieve that which is desired.

There’s much more that is new and different about the leadership, management, and communication in the 21st century. Customers, in this digital age, are empowered to seek out, compare, and measure value as never before. That’s why, today’s leader can’t afford to have a focus just towards maximizing the productivity of his employees, rather he has to learn to serve the target customer. Serving the customers by understanding their needs and wants is the best way he/she can harness the true potential of the employees more fruitfully.

Related article: Essential Qualities of a Business Manager in This Digital Era

Essential Qualities of a Leader

A small business runs mostly on the might of its leader who is the owner as well as the manager-in-chief of his company. He has to take care of the balance sheet of the company by maintaining a healthy cash flow in and out of the company. He also looks into the profitability, productivity, connections, customers, regulations, and the marketing of the company. Let’s have a look at the essential skills and tasks of a leader:

  • Engenders Trust & Enthusiasm

    He should focus on building the trust of the customers towards the company by generating enthusiasm among the employees in working towards the fulfillment of customer’s needs and wants.
  • Thinks in Terms of Relationship

    Now every business is a relationship business. The better the company’s goodwill among the customers, the better will be the business. A leader who understands this and encourages his employees towards building that relationship will surely own the best team that fulfills the expectations of the company.
  • Creates a Stimulating Ecosystem

    He will understand that to harness the full potential of his employees, he has to identify and develop the talent by providing it with a stimulating environment that can support the employees in enhancing their knowledge and skills.
  • Guides a Continuous Refinement Process

    A good leader will build the strategy taking into account the inputs of his employees, and he will keep guiding them for continuous refinement process so that the plan of action must always remain a hundred percent productive.
  • Supports Experimentation & Learning

    A good leader understands that his employees are not puppets who will keep dancing on the indication of the strings attached to his fingers. He encourages each employee to develop his own style of working so that the employee can get the best score through his output.
  • Listens and Observes Carefully

    A good leader is a good communicator and a good communicator knows that the very idea of communication is a two-way process. It’s not just about speaking your mind but also about listening keenly to others, so as to be able to observe the gravity of the situation more accurately.
  • Takes Responsibility of His Team and Its Result

    A good leader will never refrain from taking full responsibility of his team and its result. He gives all the credit to his team in case of success. But he knows that a team’s failure is his failure and so doesn’t blame his team in case of a failure.

How a Leader Motivates His Employees

A leader can’t do everything on his own. He needs an efficient and productive team of working people to achieve his goals. But he faces many challenges in keeping his employees motivated. Some of these challenges are:

  • Preventing the employees from moving into other companies.
  • Providing them an environment where they can enjoy working and so maximize their output.
  • Keep encouraging the teamwork.

Related article: The Workplace Motivation: Show Your Employees That You Care

Employee Motivation

A leader’s first and foremost job is to keep his employees constantly motivated. A motivated employee is the most powerful asset to the company. So, how a leader can keep his employees motivated? Let’s have a look:

  • Taking Care of His Employees

    A leader who takes care of his employees both personally and professionally and keeps conducting one-to-one with them will find them giving the best output and with all the dedication. A leader tries to know more about his employees personally; about his tastes and preferences; his family, and also his idea of an amendment to the working ethics and culture so as to maximize the overall output of the company. This way the employees will feel to be a part of something big and will remain motivated.
  • Empowering Each Individual

    A good leader knows the value of each employee. Every person’s contribution is counted in the final outcome. That’s why a good leader keeps trying to harness the best out of each employee by tapping on their full potential. Empowering them to excel in their role, no matter how large or small, creates a sense of ownership that will help them meet and exceed their own expectations.
  • Supporting New Ideas

    If an employee comes up to you with a new idea, it shows that he/she cares for the betterment of the company. A good leader understands that and listens to the idea carefully, and if it is really useful, he’ll simply adopt it and also reward him for his contribution. This will not only encourage that particular employee but also others to come up with new ideas.
  • Encouraging Friendly Competition

    A competitive environment is a productive environment. Employees can be motivated by organizing healthy and friendly competitions. This will provide them with the spirit of a sportsperson. They will feel energized and highly motivated to work for achieving new heights for themselves and for the company.
  • Rewarding Accomplishments

    An employee takes his accomplishments as his identity in the company. He wants his accomplishments to be recognized by others. And, if it comes from top of the management or the owner, it means a lot for him. A good leader understands this and keeps rewarding his employees in many ways: by sharing their success with fellow employees and management, or by giving him some gifts from the company’s side, or by throwing a party in the office for celebrating his success. A reward or recognition for his accomplishments is the fuel of motivation for an employee- the more his tank will be full, the higher he will feel motivated.
  • Knocking Out the Boredom

    One of the most important tasks of a leader is to keep his employees motivated by avoiding boredom in the office. People have a short attention span. Not only the employees but even the leaders can feel bored in doing their work in a routine manner. Hosting a cupcake bake-off, planning a happy hour, start a push-up contest in the middle of the office on a Wednesday, or allowing a different person to run the weekly meetings can break the monotony. These little fun moments during the job will not only re-energize the employees but also help build a friendly ecosystem that will lead to an increased camaraderie.
  • Fostering Creativity

    Thinking outside the box helps in coming up with new ideas. It will lead to increased creativity. An employee never knows about his true potential himself unless he is able to tap on that creative section of his brain. A true leader is the one who helps his employees in being able to dig deeper and come up with those defining ideas out of their brain.
  • Treating Them Like Investors

    Another way to keep your employees motivated is to make them feel valued by sharing the same information with them that you share with the investors. You can also ask for their ideas on it, and if found suitable, can be implemented for the growth of the business. This level of transparency will engender a feeling of trust in them and can motivate them to feel more connected to the company.

  • A good leader possess all the essential qualities and tries his best to keep the employees motivated that helps in the growth of small business. He should also work towards employee retention strategies so he can retain the top talent that helps in increasing the productivity and profitability of his business.

    Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges that companies are facing today. The costs of losing a valued employee are substantial. According to a study by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), finding and training a replacement for an outgoing employee can cost as much as the equivalent of six to nine months of salary.

    Read more about Employee Retention Strategies.