1) More than anything, leadership is about empathy:
Empathy means “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” If you look at some of history’s most successful leaders, they had the ability to empathise with their followers. They made them feel that they understood their pain and their suffering. See what I wrote here about Gandhi and Hitler.
2) Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Good leaders constantly communicate with their followers and keep them up to date. You want to be a good leader in your workplace? Then make sure you tell your employees the good, the bad and the ugly of what’s happening in your organisation. Don’t keep them in the dark. In my businesses, everyone knows the numbers, and Team Members appreciate that they can be trusted with them.
3) Have a mission or a cause:
It’s much easier to get people to do something if they feel they are part of something special, something big! In days gone by, Microsoft’s famously declared “a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software.” Imagine the motivation the employees had back then to fulfil this grand mission. Want to fire up your followers? Have a strong mission and/or grand goal.
4) Great leaders make others around them feel special:
The word that is often used to explain this trait is “charisma”. Mother Teresa once said “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: Kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Personally I love this quote. Another famously charismatic leader is Bill Clinton. It is said that he had the ability to make someone feel like they were the only person that mattered in the whole world.
5) Great leaders give before they expect to receive:
If you want your followers to respect you, show respect first. If you want them to sacrifice for you, then sacrifice first. If you want them to love you, love them first, and so on. Great leaders know that they have to make long term investments in their followers before they can expect anything in return.
6) Great leaders have great discipline:
Charm and charisma can only take you so far, but real, effective leaders are disciplined. I’ve seen people who on the surface seem like great leaders, but they don’t have the discipline to follow through on their commitments. They eventually disappoint their followers, who become disenchanted.
Hope you found this useful. Talk soon.