Strong leaders come in many shapes and sizes, but there are certain attributes that make up a great leader that everyone is willing to follow. Whether you are a strong leader and working hard to bring a big project to fruition, or you are trying to inspire those that work for you, understanding how to lead others effectively is important.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
There's a reason that some sayings become popular. It's because they ring true with so many people. A strong leader is a person who acts, and doesn't just say they are going to do something. If you are a boss and you have promised an employee that you will consider a raise for them, you need to sit down a do a review of this employee's performance. Whether you choose to give the employee a raise or not is up to you, but show your employee that you are following the process and not just giving them empty promises.
When you say you are going to do something, do it.
Lead by Example
Your employees will be inspired by you if they see you getting down and dirty with a project. Good leaders show that they can get the job done, and that they have the skills needed to work on a project. For example, while you may want to reprimand a group of employees that in your mind are taking too much time to accomplish a task, sitting down and offering to help will motivate your employees more. Bosses that try to scare employees into working harder are far from inspiring, even if it gets the job done in the short term.
People follow your example… not what you say, but what you do.
Be Fair and Honest
A strong leader is a person who doesn't play favorites, and one who does not engage in office gossip. Honesty is crucial in a strong leader. When you engage in gossip, this sets the tone that you will talk about others behind their back. This does not make you trustworthy in the eyes of your employees, and it is a habit that you need to break in order to become a better leader. You need your employees to trust you, and this is done when you treat everyone with respect and fairness.
An honest person is inspiring.
Be Willing to Be Wrong
A strong leader is able to admit to their mistakes. While it may seem counterintuitive to admit that you did something wrong, making you look weak, the opposite is actually true. Your team will appreciate your willingness to admit when you are wrong because they understand that no one can be right all of the time.
Confident leaders can admit when they are wrong.
Keep a Positive Attitude
When you are a leader, people will look to you to set the tone. If you are constantly grouchy or negative about a project, this will drain the energy from your employees. No one wants to be around a person who is constantly complaining, and strong leaders are able to remain calm and collected when dealing with a problem. While you don't want this positive attitude to be fake, taking the time to assess every problem will help you keep everything in perspective. When you react calmly to an emergency, your employees will follow your lead.
Your attitude determines the outlook of other employees.
If you are struggling to be a better leader, take the time to think about your positive attributes. Think about what you bring to emergency situations and how you respond to others when emotions run high. When you keep you cool, when you act instead of talk, you will inspire those around you.