We all have seen the “5 Characteristics of Great Leaders” posted all over the social networking sites, but what is seldom missing in the literature is a review that provides a deep dive into what each of the 5 mean.
- Love Your Team
- Give Praise
- Seldom Use Your Power
- Surround Yourself With Rock Stars
- Cast Your Vision
Over the next few months, I will be breaking down each of the 5 points and shedding my personal light on each. Everyone has their own belief system on these concepts, but if what I express assists anyone in defining their own thoughts, then I have helped define “Leadership.” Let’s consider the first characteristic of Love Your Team. This is a complex, layered bullet point to put into words. “Love” is a feeling and feelings take time to develop. To instill a feeling within a team of individuals is earned over time and cannot be expected because you give them direction, hold a title or they report to you. Everything needs to be a reciprocal process (aka–a two-way street). You have to display a genuine interest in their development, foster their personal goals, understand who they are as individuals, be a buffer for them to organizational Leadership, hear their advice, pick them up when they are feeling down, create energy in them, and most importantly put them in a position to be successful. You have to first decide if you are going to “love” your team. Once you have made that philosophical leap, only then will the team feel your devotion to them. No matter what, you have to possess the willingness to deflect all the negativity onto yourself and release all the positivity onto the team. Never ever give blame, “no excuses” you are the Leader, it is your responsibility to move the team in a positive direction. A key element in this first bullet point of “Love Your Team” is in your ability to verbally sprinkle in that you in fact appreciate everything they do (good or bad) and that you would want no other to work alongside you. Simultaneously, it is imperative that your superiors know how you feel about your team.
Next month, I will be talking about “Give Praise.” How do we speak highly of the team or of an individual during the good moments and as well as when we are underperforming? Are you at the stage of getting choked up, voice changing or holding back tears when you speak? These are the questions we will review and discuss how we can get to that point in a work environment.