Being a leader is more than about making yourself look good, but making sure everyone else does. Becoming a leader means you are the one to take upon more responsibility than just yourself, but for a whole team.
Seem like a lot? Yes? But the pay-off is well worth it.
It requires extra work, persistence, vision and drive to see your team soar high beyond your expectations. Everyone wants to be a good leader or to work for a great leader (and possibly some day lead on their own). I find that working in teams, I naturally gravitate to the leadership position, as my teammates can feel the power, compassion, and drive that oozes from my soul in everything that I do.
They feel this and want to follow—but with these great gifts, comes great responsibility. Not only do I have to make sure my work is exceptional, but it is also my responsibility to see my teammates produce unique work as well and to grow and develop their skills. All of this is in my foresight for my team goals—to see each and every person excel and to have the team shine as a whole.
Here are a few essential traits that I inspire and aspire to portray as a leader everyone wants to work with:
1. Service Mentality
Don’t get this confused for weakness, my friends. This is the most powerful tool any leader can use. Why? When you’re less worried about your ego self, the flow of life becomes simpler. How? Because it’s less about you, and more about others. So, what is this so-called service mentality? It is a mindset that is customer centric (meaning having customers best interest in mind). When you finally realize that business is a ‘service’ based industry and that you cannot make money by just serving only yourself, you will be prosperous. A customer, passion and service centric mentality is essential to the flourishing of any leaders business and their followers.
2. Courage and Integrity
What is Integrity? It is the courage and guts to confront any issue or animosity directly. You call people out constructively for their own well-being (devoid of condemnation). You stand up for what’s right and adhere to all of the rules no matter what. You admit when you are wrong and solicit feedback. You relinquish your ego-self and replenish with your leader-self. You face fear head on, running into your biggest insecurities, faults, and defects. This is the only way to heal, self-reflect, and lead others.
Clarity and unambiguousness are what your team is looking for. They want a leader that is transparent and shares what she or he truly desires and feels. They want you to be honest and open with them. Traditional leadership has sometimes been seen as controversial because leaders would “lie” to their employees for ‘their own good’. A white lie only covers up what will later be revealed, thus spawning inherent distrust among traditional leaders (i.e. financial, political, religious and governmental institutions). This has led to a new construction in the realms of our current systems and institutions. Trust and openness are the new business and leadership model. Not convincing? This is what Stanford Business says about How Smart Leaders Build Trust.
For whatever you do, this is the most crucial element for any leader. There must be passion evident and overflowing from your being that is infectious to all—your team, family, friends, etc. This is one of the most important qualities that will then stem into all of the other qualities. This is the most important aspect to keep alive (keep feeding the fire consistently). Passion comes from within your core, it is not something topical. Here’s how you can dig deeper to find it.
Your team, employees, and group need consistency from they way you speak, act, deliver ideas and projects–and most importantly, emotionally. They need consistency to keep them in cadence, because it ‘s hard to follow a boss that is all over the place. You must be the living epitome of the microcosm that you are trying to represent, this being consistency. Be what you ask for in your team members or employees. Be the very thing you need and want times ten. Consistency allows for measurement, accountability, reputation, relevance and validity in your message.
Every good leader needs the wisdom to help guide their people. Preceding wisdom comes experience. With knowledge comes the collision of self-reflection. This makes it possible for one to guide themselves, as well as a team. One can have the highest IQ, EQ, and credentials, but without experience—you are missing something very significant. This is like holding a textbook with all the answers to life, but never opening the book. Without wisdom, intelligence, EQ, and experience combined, you are missing a vital part of leading. But with a combination of all of the above-mentioned ingredients, you are on your way to designing an invincibility serum in leadership. This is what Harvard Business School thinks about Wise Leaders.
In essence, being a leader that everyone wants to work for is more dynamic than simply mastering one field. To become unstoppable, you must develop, craft and execute each skill mentioned to be the best leader you could have ever imagined yourself to be. This is not a one-time deal but takes consistency. Use these golden nuggets of truth to begin the journey to becoming the best version of yourself daily.