A Successful Leader Profile
There is no a foolproof formula for success. But some personality traits are not only common but also make all the sense in the world for a successful leader.
More change requires more leadership, and thus leadership became more and more essential to the hypercompetitive and dynamic market we're living in nowadays which needs fewer managers and more leaders.
A leader, like a manager, needs to decide what needs to be done, create networks of people and relationships that can accomplish an agenda, and then try to ensure that those people actually do the job.
Successful leaders in the current dynamic market with its dynamic technological changes must possess the following traits:
They should be able to innovate and enhance innovation within their teams. They should be able to create an attitude of creativity inside the organization/team to be able to compete within a dynamic market.
Value-Added Technical & Business Skills
A successful leader should possess value added technical skill along with business skills. Employees or team members need to feel they work for a successful leader, which grants the leader a strong referent power among his team & thus subordinates would demonstrate a commitment outcome rather than compliance or resistance.
Flexibility & Superior Intellectual Capabilities
Long-term planning is always time consuming. Whenever something unexpected happens, plans have to be redone. And here flexibility & intellectual capabilities plays a major role. In a dynamic business environment, the unexpected often becomes the norm, and long-term planning can become an extraordinarily burden and useless activity. That is why most successful corporations limit the time frame of their planning activities. Indeed, some even consider "long-term planning" loss of time & effort.
Leadership is all about coping with change. The changing demographics of the workforce are among those things a successful leader must be able to handle; different backgrounds, educational systems, cultures, religions and values. And thus a successful leader must possess cultural interest & sensitivity in addition to open mindedness.
Since the function of leadership is to produce change, setting the direction of that change is fundamental to leadership. Setting direction is never the same as planning since planning is a manager's job where setting the direction of change is a leader's role.
High Self Esteem And Self Efficiency
A successful leader has to look in the mirror and actually see a successful leader.
"What matters most is how you see yourself" is a human attitude genre. Not to mention, in a leader. Imagine a leader who thinks that he's weaker than his subordinates; imagine a father who thinks that his son is stronger than himself. It's exactly the same dilemma. No leader can successfully lead and direct his team without feeling not only successful but also capable of getting the job done.
Since change is the function of leadership, being able to generate highly energized behavior is important for coping with the expected barriers to change. Successful motivation ensures that they will have the energy to overcome obstacles. Motivation and inspiration energize people, not by pushing them in the right direction but by satisfying basic human needs. Good leaders can motivate people in a variety of ways:
- They should articulate the organization's vision in a manner that stresses the values of their subordinates. This makes the work important to those individuals. Successful leaders should practice Participative Leadership where they should regularly involve people in deciding how to achieve the organization's goals or in decision making and still bear the responsibility.
- They should support employee efforts to realize the vision by providing coaching, feedback, and role modeling, thereby helping people grow professionally and enhancing their self-esteem.
- Good leaders recognize and reward success, which not only gives people a sense of accomplishment but also makes them feel like they belong to an organization that cares about them. When all this is done, the work itself becomes basically motivating.
Internal Locus Of Control
A successful leader must neither blame others nor luck for failures. A successful organization has to have successful leaders who learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others and are thus more productive.
Successful leaders should focus more on immediate task and the needs of their subordinates instead of focusing on how to impress top management.
Recognize People Performance
It is a fundamental human need to be recognized, respected, and valued as a human being:
Recognizing subordinates for who they are and what they can do and contribute is an important quality of a successful leader. It is vital when it comes to leading teams, motivating and developing people and creating healthy work environment where people feel recognized and respected. Recognizing can be in the form of giving praise and showing appreciation or giving awards.
- A supportive leader should be caring for employees. He should treat each individual with respect, provide a healthy and safe work environment, and provide balanced working conditions and meaningful work tasks. This reduces stress & improves employee loyalty. Leaders should ask about their employees in hard-times and sick leave, check on their families if necessary and ask about them regularly.
- A good leader should enhance the skills of his team. He should monitor performance and figure out ways of development. Providing training to subordinates not only leads to employee satisfaction and sense of loyalty, but also to higher organizational performance and thus profitability.
Good Leaders Create Leaders
Leaders must lead by their own example and give subordinates something to follow, because subordinates often times become a reflection of their leaders. Recruiting people with leadership potential is only the first step. Equally important is managing and helping subordinates throughout their career paths. Individuals who are effective in large leadership roles often share a number of career experiences.
Leaders that do a good job of developing leaders stress on creating challenging opportunities for young employees through decentralization.
They go out of their way to make young employees and people at lower levels in their organizations visible to senior management. Senior managers then judge for themselves who has potential and what the development needs of those people are.
If leaders fail to correctly set a good example for their subordinates, their subordinates will either become just like them and set a bad example, or will not want to be like them. They just learned what not to do as leaders, which could result in them losing respect for their leaders.
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