Leaders aren’t born, they’re made. And that’s good news for those of us who would like to successfully lead others—whether at home, in the community, or in business—but aren’t exactly sure how to do it. That means that we can learn how to lead, inspire, and help others as we all work together to succeed.
Here are a handful of top characteristics that many leaders have—plus a few tips on how to develop these characteristics if not already part of your skill set.
Leaders are responsible for looking forward and recognizing challenges and opportunities that an organization might face in the future. And that’s not all! In addition to recognizing these things, good leaders also identify how to solve the problems, take advantage of the opportunities, and create a vision for the future the organization can follow.
- Become an expert in your field.
- Read and stay informed.
- Look for synergistic opportunities.
The one constant in life is change. Every advance in every era has come because someone envisioned innovative change. Good leaders encourage and support this kind of innovative thinking—and sometimes even come up with it themselves!
- Think outside the box; ask “Why not?”
- Reward and recognize creative thinking.
- Don’t be afraid of failure.
Remember that sympathy is not the same thing as empathy. Empathy involves sharing emotions and creating a sense of connection with others. The golden rule applies here: Good leaders treat others the way they would like to be treated. Patience, compassion, and kindness are hallmarks of people who care about those around them.
- Ask questions.
- Be an active listener.
- Build and maintain relationships.
You don’t have to be OCD to understand the importance of order and priorities. In today’s world, most people’s plates are plenty full, but good leaders identify what is important and focus on that—then help others in their organization do the same.
- Plan your day—then follow your plan.
- Reduce distractions.
- Set realistic goals, then focus on them.
Optimism, integrity, and gratitude are hallmarks of people who inspire others to do—and be—their best. Good leaders exemplify the finest virtues in life, and often, without even speaking, they inspire those around them to work hard and accomplish great things.
- Express gratitude and thanks for your team members.
- Keep it positive.
- Be truthful and honest in all you do.
Taking the steps now to incorporate these leadership characteristics into your life can open a whole new world of opportunities for you, not only in your E. EXCEL business but in your family and your community.