14 Leadership Traits to Empower Your Employees For Success

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Leadership traits that empower employees to work harder don’t always come easy. Even the most seasoned owners, CEOs, directors, and managers need to cultivate new leadership traits to keep their team working effectively.

Possessing powerful leadership traits helps empower your employees to work for success. Empowered employees can excel at what they do and feel as if they can accomplish their role’s tasks, from mailroom to boardroom. Whether you are a savvy startup founder or a business owner, building influential leadership traits is essential.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can lead the pack with these 14 leadership traits.

Passion is a Foundational Leadership Trait

Passion is a foundational leadership trait to possess. Passion is contagious. When your employees see you emotionally invested in your company or a project, they feel motivated to share your journey.

Light a fire of passion in your employees, from new hires to those who have been with you from the beginning. Passion as a leadership trait is also a two-way street. Empowering your staff means showing support for their passions as well.

It makes sound business sense to empower your staff by assigning them to projects they are hungry for, or training them to succeed in an area they want to convert from a passion to a professional skill. Do you have a passionate junior executive who wants to up their negotiations game? Sign that employee up for advanced negotiation training and watch their enthusiasm and performance grow.

Great Leaders Are Seldom Content

Often, one of the worst things a leader can be is content. Not being content doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy your achievements, however. Refusing to be content is a leadership trait that simply keeps your vision moving forward in a powerful way.

Not being content means you continue to expand your horizons to succeed in bigger and better endeavors. Your growth could mean expanding your client base through a string of successful negotiations, or could mean investing in yourself with up-to-date training to polish up your skills for future ventures.

Whatever form your growth takes, letting your employees see your hunger, drive, and commitment can empower your staff to want to achieve more as well. When your employees want to increase their wins, business often rolls down the path of success.

Develop a Team with Powerful Potential

Great business leaders know the importance of surrounding themselves with a strong team. Remember to focus recruitment on employees you see potential in. Having the skills to detect these individuals is an invaluable leadership trait.

Steve Jobs was a genius when it came to surrounding himself with a strong innovative team. In fact, he said that the first 10 people of any startup would be the measure of that startup’s success.

Being Tough Is a Vital Leadership Trait

The corporate world is a tough world to navigate and negotiate, and business leaders have to be just as tough, if not tougher, to survive. This makes toughness a vital leadership trait to keep you moving up the ladder to success.

Stand up for yourself and meet challenges head-on in order to dominate in your career field. Great leaders know how to navigate tough times and negotiate difficult situations while still coming away with a positive result for their team.

Great leaders are often great negotiators, and knowing key negotiation skills, like when to be silent and when to take action, define a confident leader and negotiator.

Don’t Let the Haters Influence You or the Direction of Your Business

Did you know Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because the newspaper thought he lacked imagination? Walt Disney went on to famously create one of the most imaginative worlds in entertainment.

Do what Disney did, and don’t let the haters influence you or your business, a leadership trait many other successful people have followed. At the end of the day, people can sometimes be frightened and envious of innovative people.

Be Fierce and Break Down Barriers

The digital era is full of innovative leaders who value the leadership trait of being fierce. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos are all exceptional examples of being fierce and breaking down barriers. If you want to become a great leader, regardless of your innovative ambitions, be fierce and take calculated chances.

The One Must-Have Leadership Trait: Persistence

Without the one must-have leadership trait, persistence, your first obstacle could end your career or your startup. Persistence keeps you moving forward, despite the obstacles in front of you.

Your persistence also shows your team that you are intending to succeed, and your employees will most likely want to be a part of the win. If you combine persistence with self-confidence and your deep belief in your vision, you can achieve greatness.

Make Mistakes a Mentoring Moment and Not a Negative Leadership Trait

Even leaders can make mistakes. Mistakes are simply a fact of life, especially in the fast-paced business world. Making mistakes does not make you a bad leader or mean you have a negative leadership trait or flaw. Mistakes show your team your human element.

Turn your mistakes into a positive leadership trait by using them as a mentoring moment. If you simply fail to own up to your mistakes, your credibility as a leader is compromised. The deletion of George Orwell’s books from Amazon Kindle was a big mistake, and Jeff Bezos knew it, owned it, apologized, and the company moved on in a positive way.

Make Your Vision Larger Than Life

One leadership trait many people fail to possess is to dream big. Sure, owning a few stores, or hitting a specific net worth, is a big dream, but why not go even bigger? Making your vision larger than life is a formidable leadership trait for success.

Many of today’s Silicon industry leaders could have called it quits long ago after making their fortunes, but many continue to step outside the box.

Become an Influencer to Empower

Have you ever had a boss you simply couldn’t stand? Most people have, and there is a leadership lesson to take from your own experience. One great leadership trait is to become an influencer in order to empower your employees to work harder.

Your team is unlikely to perform at optimal levels with passion and enthusiasm for a leader they don’t like. Show an interest in your employees’ lives and their own personal passions to connect with your employees at a human level.

Likewise, it pays to show interest in your employees’ career goals by ensuring their development. Enrolling your employees in the training they need to achieve the goals they share with you, such as advanced sales and negotiations training, to hit their own performance targets, is one tangible way to be influential as an employer. Become an influential leader your staff can aspire to, not loathe working with.

Encourage Employee Feedback

Encouraging employee feedback helps your team become the dynamic workforce you envision. On-the-spot feedback is also valuable, empowering your team to communicate effectively.

This leadership trait does come with ground rules, such as constructive criticism only with solutions being added to the feedback to keep a project moving forward, not backward.

Flexibility and Delegation

Moving up the career ladder takes a certain type of flexibility. Then, once you have reached the leadership rung, that flexibility is even more essential. Empowering your employees to work harder often comes with letting the reins go at times.

Your team has skills you admired in the interview room, so why not let them use those attributes? You can identify key areas and projects members of your team will excel in and assign them accordingly. It makes sense for your strongest negotiator with the most training to be heading up your most high-profile company negotiations, especially if, as discussed above, it is their passion.

The leadership trait of delegation also allows you to free up your schedule to focus on other elements of your business.

Boundaries

Strong leaders who empower their team to take action with a flexible approach also know to develop boundaries. There will be times when a task or project is beyond the skill set of your team. Do you simply hand them the project and hope for the best?

Great leaders know to challenge their employees with new tasks and projects. However, great leaders also ensure an employee’s self-confidence is not at risk. Developing boundaries of what your team can do and not overstepping those boundaries solidifies trust in your leadership abilities.

Transparency

Become a transparent leader and let your employees understand how things really work. More often than not, a disconnect builds between team and leader, making it difficult for employees to see what exactly their boss does.

In order to keep attitudes positive, be transparent about what is happening in the company or department. Transparency often involves clear communication and employing the negotiation skills needed to keep employees happy. Being a transparent communicator can also empower your employees to begin thinking and acting at the executive level. Executive level thinking by any team harnesses success through passion and ownership of projects.

In Sum

Empowering your employees to work harder can be easily achieved by employing a few key leadership traits. You may not have all of the above traits, but adding a few more to your repertoire certainly can be incredibly beneficial. After all, your achievements may depend not only on your own skills but also the skills of your team.

Trending Office Productivity Improvement Ideas 2019

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One of the first truths of the business world that you need to accept is the fact that people spend too much time at the office. In fact, when you look at the numbers, you’ll realize that a standard 9 to 5 work time, combined with commute and preparation for work in the morning, means that the majority of people spend more time at the office than in their own home. In fact, this is where they spend the majority of their waking hours. For this reason alone, it’s incredibly important for the way in which people feel about themselves that they feel good at their office.

Now, from the standpoint of an entrepreneur, there are more advantages of a more productive office than just being altruistic. First of all, this is one of the simplest ways for you to achieve a productivity boost, which is not a small feat, providing that this may drastically increase the profit of your business. The way it does so is by allowing your smaller team (simpler logistics, fewer paychecks) to outperform larger staffs of other companies. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several trending office productivity ideas for 2019 that you need to check out.

1.   Distraction free space

When it comes to the issue of distractions, the first priority that you’ll face is the necessity of providing everyone with their own personal space in the office. While some may suggest that 5 cubic meters are enough, the truth is that it’s 11 cubic meters on average, that’s considered an industry standard. In order to achieve this, you might want to consider using shared office spaces or even telecommuting. Remember, just because 30 people can fit your current office, it doesn’t mean that they should.

Your next priority needs to be making your office noise free, due to the fact that noise is one of the worst productivity killers out there. You can start doing this by sound-proofing the place, providing your staff with silent peripherals, while the above-listed abundance of personal space helps, as well. Most importantly, however, you need to keep in mind the fact that company policy and a company culture can do much more about it.

The last thing you need to understand in order to make a less visually distracting office is the fact that you need to start decluttering. There are some who perform best in the mess of their own doing but the truth is that the majority of people don’t perform well in a messy environment, to begin with. Therefore, what you need to do is create a clean, neat and well-organized environment that will make it much easier for them to focus. Hiring a reliable cleaning agency to outsource to is the simplest way for you to make this happen.

2.   Enhanced breaks

Another crucial thing when it comes to your team’s ability to outperform your expectations is the importance of them taking regular breaks. In the previous sentence, we put an emphasis on the term regular, yet, quality is just as important as quantity, which is why you need to start investing in your breakroom. This area needs to have enough room, it needs to be properly furnished but most importantly, it needs to be separated from the work area, so that people who are taking a break aren’t disturbing those who are still working.

Another important area of the office that you should pay attention to is the kitchen, for several different reasons. First of all, a balanced diet full of healthy fats is vital to one’s brain power, which is something to bear in mind if you plan to start your own cafeteria. This is a particularly good idea, due to the fact that the majority of your employees probably won’t eat healthy on their own. If not, the very least you can do for the production in your office and satisfaction of your employees is to invest in a quality bean coffee machine. Coffee is known to raise productivity, improve motivation and bolsters one’s awareness.

Recent studies have shown that spending just by power-napping for 20 minutes, you can make a massive difference in your alertness and performance level. This is what makes more and more entrepreneurs to seriously consider creating a nap area in their office. Making such a specialized area can further increase the efficiency of this concept and provide you with substantial office productivity improvement. The way in which you can do so is by isolating one room, soundproofing it, dimming the lights and supplying it with enough beds or mattresses.

3.   Stimulating work environment

Your brain doesn’t just need oxygen in order to work. In fact, the availability of this element in abundance drastically affects your brain power, keeps you awake, helps with the learning process and much more. The lack of oxygen will make you feel sleepy, sluggish and, overall, not motivated for work. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the amount of oxygen within the office and here are some suggestions.

In order to breathe, people use oxygen to create carbon dioxide, which means that the more people there are in the office, the more quickly the oxygen levels in the room are getting depleted. Fortunately, plants can reverse this process by using carbon dioxide and creating oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. This means that just by adding some indoor plants to your office, you’ll make a vast improvement in this field. Other than helping you breathe; this can pose as a significant improvement to the visuals of your office.

While plants are quite effective, using them to improve the quality of air in the office is an indirect approach to this situation. A more direct approach would be to invest in an air purifier and develop a habit of letting air in on a regular basis or getting yourself a reliable air purifier. The latter is no substitute to the influx of fresh air but you would be surprised as to how many sick days it can eliminate in the pollination season. Any investment in the health of your employees is always considered a money well-spent.

The last thing you need to understand when it comes to the working conditions in the office is the fact that the office temperature affects it more than you imagine. Now, this is quite a controversial topic due to the fact that it is unlikely that you’ll reach a consensus in the office. After all, the temperature is something that’s affected by one’s personal feeling and the individual differences here are sometimes impossible to breach. This is why you might want to take some studies as a determining factor. According to some, the highest productivity is at 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius), while there are others who claim that 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) is ideal. Staying within this range is a sure hit.

4.   Exercise in the workplace

The importance of an exercise in your office space should never be underestimated and there are several things you can do in order to introduce this beneficial trend to your workplace. The concept of deskercise (exercise at your desk) is getting accepted all over the world as the right way to go and there are so many things for one to do using just their chair and their desk. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that a lot of people may feel uncomfortable when it comes to doing this, in fear of being judged by their coworkers. That it, however, unless you make everyone do it. This way, you create a clear and undeniable win-win scenario for everyone.

Those with an extra room on their premises may even consider making an office gym, thus further institutionalizing this concept. The thing that discourages the majority of people when it comes to this is the idea that this will be too expensive, yet, this is not necessarily true. First of all, you can make a gym on a budget by simply investing in some mats and hiring a person to do some yoga or light cardio with your employees. For those who want something a tad more dynamic, you can just get a skipping rope for everyone (about $2 per skipping rope) and rely on calisthenics for your workouts.

5.   The meetings paradox

The last problem that we have to tackle is the paradox of meetings. You see, there’s a study claiming that an average office worker spends about 31 hours in unnecessary meetings every month. The majority of these meetings are 20 to 30 minutes long, which means that, on average, there are several of these meetings every single day. There’s also an estimate that U.S. businesses alone lose about 37 billion per year due to this particular problem. When you start looking at this as the time that they could spend working, the productivity loss caused by this phenomenon becomes even more obvious and even more devastating. This is why you need to find a solution to this problem and you need to find it quickly.

The first alternative that you can use is to ask yourself whether it’s possible to make this announcement via an email instead. In a scenario where the topic at hand isn’t a pressing matter, you can just send an email and if your employees have anything to ask, they can just write you back. Second, you can always hold dynamic 5-minute meetings instead. This is not only a time-saving practice but also an incredibly efficient brainstorming method that you should consider. In other words, what you need to do is start prioritizing and decide which meetings require a traditional format and which of them can be handled differently.

In conclusion

By doing all of this, you will not just create a more productive work environment but also make your office into a more pleasant place to be at. This alone will improve overall mood and morale of your staff, thus benefiting their mental health and reducing stress levels within your organization. Once the word gets out (and it most definitely will), your talent attraction efforts will become a lot more effective, while your talent retention attempts will become a lot easier than they were in the past. Combined with enhanced productivity and what you have here is an incredible set of circumstances that go in your favor.