Crystal Spraggins, SPHR
Despite all the press given to the rotten leaders in the world, workplaces all across the United States are filled with great leaders. These leaders share some commonalities that make them great. For example …
- Great leaders listen
There is so much noise in the world, and each of us is constantly called to filter out the unnecessary while holding on to the rest. It can be hard to hear, let alone listen, in such an environment. Even so, great leaders manage to do just that. Great leaders know how to slow down, focus, and listen to what’s being said to and around them. As a result they are better at recognizing and anticipating problems and opportunities, and they’re able to form lasting bonds with people who appreciate the business as much as they appreciate being heard.
- Great leaders “walk the talk”
Great leaders have integrity and can be trusted to behave in a way consistent with their stated beliefs. Nobody wants to follow a phony who says one thing and does another or a coward who believes whatever he has to believe to get along. However, people will willingly and enthusiastically follow someone who consistently displays good character by being transparent, honest, and trustworthy.
- Great leaders are okay with their humanity and the humanity of others
Great leaders know that business is all about people and that people like and deserve to be treated as human. And while this may sound like a rather basic truth, many leaders miss it because they’re too busy creating a facade of strength or power or omniscience or whatever it is they believe will make them appear to be more “leader-like,” rather than being okay with being a real person with real faults who in turn can accept the faults of others. Such leaders know that it’s okay to make mistakes, have an occasional bad day, not know something, or be vulnerable.
- Great leaders seek a good idea wherever it can be found
A great leader is always on the look out for a good idea wherever it can be found, because she knows that anyone—including her peers, subordinates, and competitors—can have an idea that will benefit her business. And because the great leader cares more about good ideas than her pride, she’ll take that good idea and run with it, giving credit where credit is due to team members who contributed to her success even while accepting full responsibility for any failures.
- Great leaders are humble
Every great leader knows that his success is not by his doing alone and that the support and assistance of others, as well as dumb luck, play an important role. This knowledge keeps him humble, grateful, and grounded, all qualities that ensure he’ll never harm his business because he failed to recognize his own limitations or the gifts of others.
Are you a great leader, or do you know a great leader? Leave a comment telling us all about it!