When talking about business leadership, many different characteristics come to mind. A leader can be silent and put the focus on doing rather than showing. A leader can also be assertive and full of excitement and gusto, relaying their energy and enthusiasm to their team to push them forward. These are the two poles of leadership characteristics, and in most cases, business leaders display a little bit of both depending on the situation or context.
Then you have leadership styles. Wisetoast has put together a list of 12 common leadership styles among business leaders today. These styles each take a different focus, whether it’s:
That’s a lot of style jammed into a single list. Do you resonate with a few of the types above?
The truth is, humans are fluid. We do not just fit into a specific box or “type”. Someone can be an autocratic leader one week and a democratic leader the next. We each have distinct personality traits from our character as adults. In order to harness great leadership then, the focus should be less on style and more on personal attributes.
Here are 5 attributes of great leadership that you can nurture no matter what personality type you are:
- Flexibility. Being able to adjust plans and schedules without getting flustered is an important skill. It takes composure and a realization that you can only control a small fraction of things in your vicinity – the rest is up to others, whom you have to trust.
- Strong Communication. Always being clear and remaining in touch with your team is important. It can be a simple “hi, how are you?” or a detailed email about a new project. Whatever the content, the motive remains the same, and that’s the key.
- Courage. Being able to overcome obstacles and remain confident is a requirement of great leadership.
- Humility. Appreciating the fragility of life and your place within it will help you make choices for the group, rather than for yourself. A humble person is also able to admit mistakes.
- Organized and Responsible. A leader must be on top of all responsibilities and organize people throughout all stages of a project.
Contrary to what some people say, leadership is not something a few people are born with and the rest of us are out to lunch. Hard work and vision are the key to becoming a great leader.
Find a way to center your business culture around models of great leadership, and cultivate and environment that induces employees to take on more responsibility. With responsibility comes accountability, and learning how to be accountable is step 1 on the road to great leadership.
Zig Ziglar said, “You don't build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.”
It all starts at the top. As a leader within your business, it’s on your shoulders to set the tone and be a great leader for the team by focusing on these attributes and how you can educate, equip, and empower your team to build your business.