If you ever had a boss with great leadership skills, you absolutely recall how your boss made you feel. After all, true leadership in its essence is a matter of heart.

Maya Angelou, famous civil rights activist and poet has a famous saying: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Beginning on the path of strong leadership, it demands that you confront some harsh realities on what really constitutes good leadership. It might not be what you would like to hear (or read), though.

  1. Leaders have to face conflict in order to fix problems.

Conflict is inevitable when there are people involved. Instead of being passive-aggressive, real leaders are mindful that working into tension with strong listening skills to perceive a problem from all perspectives is a much better approach to a dilemma than walking away from confrontation and ignoring individuals.

  1. Leaders should make people grow.

Leaders with a high level of dignity make it a major priority to fully understand their folks in order to develop them. Through coaching, and introducing them to new obligations that will extend their growth, they invest significant time digging into the lives of others. Leaders who fall short of their promises to develop and enhance their people will possibly struggle to form sustainable partnerships leading to success.

  1. Leaders need to put staff before clients.

The task of each leader will be to represent the workers — first, those that are nearest to the customer experiences. Good leaders know their number one client is their workers. When they look after their people, educate them and inspire them, they will be truly involved in what they do. In addition, the customers who purchase their goods or services must go out to keep hold of their second most valuable customer — the individuals who buy their services or products.

  1. Leaders need to make the workplace safe.

Harvard’s Amy Edmondson study on psychological health suggests that when leaders encourage a safety culture — ensuring workers feel able to speak out, experiment, provide advice, and ask for support — it contributes to improved results in learning and efficiency. If there is no psychological protection there is fear. And fear is harmful to having the full potential of a brand.

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  1. Leaders should be prepared to hear suggestions.

Many leaders do not want to pay attention to ideas, opinions, and useful feedback from anyone of their own leadership style. For these leaders, cutting off means they work within an ego-system, not an environment. A great leader who pays attention well is transparent and accountable; he samples and makes comments and listens to understand — with a focus on growth, not on a rehash of past experiences.

  1. The strength of vulnerability has to be applied by leaders.

Others may say the insecurity is too touchy to business. Some might say they’re just not connected to it — it’s not in their structure of personality. None is true. Vulnerability is the backbone of good leadership and it is about trust. Managers and employers who support one another tend to be confident with their shortcomings, vulnerabilities, and doubts, being transparent to each other. Vulnerability-based faith is premised on the simple — and realistic idea — that people who may not be afraid to accept the facts do not participate in the sort of political chaos that drains up the time and attention of everyone and, most importantly, interferes with reaching goals and outcomes.

  1. Leaders should behave with compassion and dignity.

In a world of false promises, deception, and fraud, a real leader is responsible with the well-being of others; he is committed to the development and the best interests of others around him. In a leadership-at-work context, the word “love” is not a feeling— it is a verb; it is filled with action. It shows up in fulfilling other people’s desires to produce outcomes, removing barriers from the way of people and inspiring them to thrive as employees and human beings. This has inherent meaning for leaders and workers alike. In the end it’s this kind of passion that distinguishes the world’s greatest CEOs.

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