Leadership is often associated with pressure. Great leaders often go through silent pressures that build over time. The higher the rank, the more pressure is on, and it must be managed every single day. A good leader carries the weight of the department, the company and, more importantly, the people who work for them.
Great leadership begins with your mindset
First and foremost, you must understand you have earned your position and your team wants you to be there. I have seen great leaders let their insecurity prohibit them from trusting the right people under them to get the job done. You cannot be a good leader if you are worried about someone taking your position.
Secondly, don’t make the mistake of thinking your leadership position and title makes you a leader. A lot of people do not realize that great leadership begins within oneself, and only certain individuals can really handle the pressures without projecting it in a negative way. Anyone can be given a title and a position that are perceived as a leader’s, but true, healthy leadership starts with your mindset.
Your mind is the place where promises and failures are planted. Your past experiences live in your mind, and the ability to be successful starts with how you think. There are great leaders in the right positions, but they are being held back by their own limiting beliefs. Even a great strategy can’t succeed without the right mindset to implement it.
Top 3 reasons for poor leadership
Everyone has known a bad leader at some point in their career. In fact, bad management is one of the top reasons why employees quit their jobs! In a Gallup poll, half of employees who quit cited their managers as the reason. But how do these poor leaders even get to where they are in the first place?
- They “knew someone” and were automatically placed in a position of leadership, but now they struggle to gain trust. They are now perceived as someone who only has the job because of personal connections and may spend the rest of their time trying to prove themselves and their worth to the wrong people.
- My personal favorite is the “yes man syndrome,” where the employees are following their leader, causing them to falsely believe that they are a great manager because people show up and say yes all day long. Reality check: These people are only following you because they must. The fact of the matter is you, the leader, manage them, and their job security relies on them being subordinate.
- Then you have the “everyone likes me” leader, where leaders think they’re good managers because everyone seems to like them. Don’t be fooled because people appear to like you. Employees will automatically appear to like people in higher positions — in reality, they like your position.
There is still a chance for great leadership
Do not fear; there is still a chance. I believe as human beings we all have qualities that can allow us to become the ultimate leaders. If you are a parent, you have to lead your home, and if you are human, you have to lead your life. You can be the true, authentic boss your people are looking for and willing to go the extra mile for, and not just because their paycheck depends on it.
The traits of a great leader
If your management style includes the following traits, then you are doing something right. Becoming the ultimate leader can be learned. A great supervisor positively influences others, has the ability to develop and grow employees, earns trust and knows how to achieve results that matter.
To put these into practice daily, a leader must:
- Be an influencer. An influential leader builds momentum by learning how to critically solve problems and has mastered the art of staying calm under pressure. An influencer is known for always having a solution to the problem and knowing the right tactics to effectively execute.
- Manage like a mentor. Good leaders continuously develop the people who work closely with them. It is important to realize the teaching moments as they happen, much like a mentor. The ultimate leader shares knowledge and knows how to teach while leading.
- Foster an environment of trust. Trust is earned when you communicate, listen and observe. Be as honest and transparent as possible, and trust will develop in no time. One way to quickly gain trust is to communicate every step of the way. Communication allows you to be a consistent leader who strives to fulfill promises.
- Always see results. The most effective leaders produce by example and understand how to do the job of everyone below them. If an employee takes leave on short notice or is struggling to perform, the leader can jump right in and steer the ship.