OPINION: BAD LEADERSHIP IS A FORMULA FOR DISASTER, BUT IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO UP YOUR GAME
The general perception is that strong leaders are innovative, opportunistic, brilliant and motivating. However, great leaders are more driven by soft skills with which subordinates can truly identify.
Are you likable? Do you have integrity? Are you honest? Over the course of nearly 28 years running a company, I have come across three key leadership personas that I refer to as the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are their attributes:
Confident: Great leadership is derived from a can-do attitude. Subordinates thrive on positive energy and want a leader who keeps a cool head. As Warren Buffett said, “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.”
Transparent: Team members want the information they need to be successful. When leaders are transparent, the team feels empowered, engaged and prepared to face any hurdle. When left in the dark, they feel unprepared when facing adversity.
Mature: Leaders look at the big picture and don’t get embroiled in pettiness. Being moody makes it uncomfortable for subordinates, who walk on eggshells because they’re not sure which boss they will encounter. Confident leaders maintain an even keel and instill the same stability in employees.
Empowering: There is no blueprint for business success. Decision-making can’t be so regimented that a team is unable to adapt. Empowering employees to think on their feet puts them in position to solve problems, make decisions and learn to become leaders.
Team-oriented: Winning is a team sport. Good leadership encourages employees to think and act like a team. In doing so, everyone feels like they have contributed to success.
Empathetic: Good leaders recognize the importance of empathy in managing employees with varying skill levels and personalities. Some leaders worry that empathy is viewed as weakness, but it actually makes leaders more relatable and causes employees to believe that leadership truly cares about them.