Leadership Values: 8 Traits of a Genuine Leader – Ryan Ayers

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Three professional businesswomen in business meeting in modern office. Three women sitting at table discussing, mid adult woman smiling, reflections on glass.

Glancing through Twitter or LinkedIn profiles, you may come across many who describe themselves as a leader, or as of late a “thought leader.” Yet when scrolling through their tweets or articles it becomes clear that most, if not all, of their content is stolen or regurgitated from someone else. While there is nothing wrong with repurposing content, it does certainly raise questions as to the validity of the individual’s leadership if all they do is merely copy or mimic what others are doing or saying. Thus, to help navigate through the swarms of self-described “thought leaders,” here are 8 traits that signal whether a leader is genuine or not.

  1. Understands the Importance of Mental Health

As our society becomes better at identifying and treating mental health issues, it is only natural that the workplace makes adjustments as well. Genuine leaders have no problems with these adjustments. In fact, they encourage them as leaders fully understand that if team members are sluggish or depressed, not only with their work take a hit, but the entire teams will as well. Thus, leaders possess a clear understanding of the important role of mental health in establishing and maintaining a productive, inspired and creative team.

  1. Their Life is their Example

Be the change that you wish to see – this wise maxim is often said, but true leaders take it to heart. They don’t merely develop the principles of a work culture, they embody it. Instead of wondering why no one is taking out the trash when its full or why no one is taking charge on a project, they take the initiative to lead by example so that they can be reflections of what they wish to see.

  1. Leaders Always Do What They Think Is Right, Even If Others Disagree

It’s often been said that it’s quite easy to lead when everything is going well, but it’s only in the middle of turmoil that true leaders show their colors. Such adage has prove true throughout history, for no matter whether it’s the writers of the Declaration of Independence fighting against the then aristocratic England or Rosa Parks standing up against racism, leaders have never had any problem going against the grain.

  1. Able to Identify Potential Cyber Risks

As the workplace continues to progress into the digital world, leaders and managers need to understand the risk they are putting themselves, their company and their peers in when posting and sharing content online. With cyber crimes on the rise, leaders must be proactive in learning and implementing cyber security procedures to guarantee that they are not apart of the 13.1 million who were victims of cyber fraud in 2015.

  1. Genuine Leaders Know How to Motivate

Even with the most rewarding or thrilling job, there may very well be discouraging times where motivation is lull. Leaders not only understand that slow times are a part of the work cycle, they have the insight to know and prepare for when these phases come. No matter whether it’s a pep talk to an entire team or a simple comment to a disheartened worker, genuine leaders know exactly what to say to motivate themselves and their peers to work through the difficult moments.

  1. Leaders Make Everyone Around Them Better

In sports, social justice or business, the glaring truth about leaders remains the same: they have the unique capability to shine and inspire the best out of those around them. Michael Jordan, Gandhi and Steve Jobs all excelled at inspiring others to dream bigger than what they thought was even possible.

  1. Genuine Leaders Understand the Short & Long-Term

Whether it relates to food or our online purchases, it seems that our society is obsessed with doing and having things as quick as possible. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with quick action, this mode of operation is not particularly effective for sustainability or long-term impact, two of the things which leaders value most. You see, leaders understand the importance of quickness, but they know that quickness without sustainability or long-term impact leads to destruction and dysfunction. As John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches in the history of the game, once said, “Be Quick, but don’t hurry!”

  1. Leaders Share Information

For as long as I can remember, my grandma has always had a “secret family recipe” for her cookies (these cookies are amazing!) which she refused to share with anyone outside of her family tree. While keeping a secret may be okay for something simple like a cookie recipe, leaders understand the importance of sharing information, particularly if it may help or inspire others. In fact, the only reason most leaders are in the position they are is because someone they looked up to provided them with insight. Thus, a genuine leader has no problem returning the favor and sharing their life story or personal insights to help others progress and reach their full potential.

If you are interested in becoming a leader, don’t assume that having a leadership position automatically makes you a leader. In fact, leaders may not even be in traditional leadership positions or telling people what to do. Instead, they may be leading with their lives. Remember, there is nothing wrong with wanting or proclaiming yourself to be a leader, but you should make sure that your actions speak far louder than your words.

mickyatesLeadership Values: 8 Traits of a Genuine Leader – Ryan Ayers

5 Ways Successful Leaders Build Great Lasting Teams – Marc Mendelman

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Great Teams

It seems like most successful entrepreneurs out there are surrounded by fantastic people. You may think that it’s the entrepreneur’s success that brings all of these people together, but in truth there is no successful leader without a great team to back them up.

1.   They Hire Team Members, Not Just Talent

Common sense would dictate that in order to help your company thrive, the best way to do that is to hire the most talented, experienced and hardworking people out there.

But this may not be the case. Their resumes might be astounding, but your team members are going to have to work with a person, not the skills they have on paper. If your employees just don’t click, all of their valuable experience and abilities are going to be wasted. Productivity and innovation is going to be lost on the way, because of communication issues, or simply because your team is not going to feel comfortable enough in the workplace to give it their all.

2.   Successful Leaders Build A Strong Work Culture First

Building effective teams is just one step in creating a group of people that’s going to lead a company towards success. Great teams are built to last, and the key to doing that is to start even before you’ve chosen the people. Successful leaders always have strong principles that guide their every decision, and they base a company’s entire work culture around those principles.

If team members’ work appeals to them on a personal level, there’s a higher chance they’ll be in it for the long run.

Work culture is not just about maximizing productivity. Leaders need to show their team they care about them on a personal level. That’s why many great leaders offer tools for empowering their employees, and offering them the flexibility they need to benefit from these tools. These tools should not be just work related. Offering your employees flexibility when it comes to healthcare is just as important.

And never forget who you’re doing all of this for: your customer. Your customers should always be at the heart of any endeavor. Great companies always take them into consideration, and not just from a financial standpoint. Selling things is not hard. Exceptional companies add value and meaning to their customers’ lives. And working for the benefit of people, not just making a profit is certainly going to inspire an outstanding work ethic, because it gives people a meaningful purpose.

3.   They Know They Are Part of the Team

A real leader knows that they are part of the team, not above it. They are there to coordinate the team members, to manage conflicts, and give credit where credit is due. The only way to succeed is to trust the people around you, and make them trust you. Challenges need to be faced as a group. Difficult times bring people together. If a leader is not there, with their team, there’s no way they can form that powerful relationship that comes from overcoming obstacles as a team.

And Truly inspiring leaders are not afraid to show their weaknesses to their team. They are aware of the fact that they are human too, and they are going to fail at times. Their teams need to know when it’s time to step in, and pick up the slack.

4.   They Lead By Example

Successful leaders practice what they preach. That’s why it’s so important that they define their principles well. Team members need to feel like the work culture around them is not just a collection of meaningless buzzwords, that it actually means something.

Creating this sense of community can also help leaders further down the line. They can find inspiration in their own team’s enthusiasm, when they feel like they’ve lost their own. They will be reminded of the things that got them going in the first place, and see how others have taken that message and carried it further.

5.   Leaders Give People a Chance

Great leaders take risks. If they feel a person is right for their team, even if their resume might not be bursting with work experience, and qualifications, they will take that person on, and allow them to grow.

People who have been given a chance are much more likely to give back to the company. And the fact that they get to grow within that work culture, and help shape it along the way will make them much more valuable as team members.

Great leaders know that there is value in being inexperienced. It gives you a fresh perspective on things. Leaders always needs to on the lookout for learning opportunities, and finding new approaches to old problems. That is the essence of innovation.

Helping a person develop and adapt to a new work environment can be a great learning experience for the manager as well. It offers them a chance to try out new things, and find out how old methods fare, or whether they should be updated.

Ultimately, what all truly great leaders have in common is the fact that they never lose sight of what’s most important: the people. Whether it’s their customers, or their employees, all of them are human beings, with their own strong points, and quirks. And leaders know they should respect, and appreciate that.

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mickyates5 Ways Successful Leaders Build Great Lasting Teams – Marc Mendelman