Characteristics of a good leader
When you hear someone defined is a leader, what usually flows to the forefront of your mind? I envision someone who is mentally tough and willing to go above and beyond with no regard for limitations rooted in fear. In the ultra-competitive world of business for which we find ourselves today, having an individual at the helm of your company who is not only up for the challenges of the present, but has the vision to see the unseen with the ability to adapt through various situations is imperative for outstanding success. I would venture to say that the term leader has become a buzzword that is over saturated, in very close competition with phrases containing the word innovation. There are words that we like to freely assign in the world of business because of tradition but the truth is, not all situations are created equal nor does every individual qualify to be a leader. Leadership and the individual the word is being attached to should be closely examined for specific characteristics.
Having individuals who are not able to deliver the type of return that we need from a leader will allow an organization to create its own enemy that will ultimately lead to a path that ends in defeat. Examining what a leader is through the lens of a business perspective, there are a few characteristics that I believe are imperative for this individual to possess. Tenacity: A general goes into battle with their own Anyone can deliver orders, but do you have the ability to lead by example? In most companies your leaders are your top earners as well as the individuals who wield the most influence. Sitting atop while your team is going through adversity only to critique them along the process is not the type of leader that I applaud. Are you willing to get your hands dirty and execute the necessary plays to help your team seize victory in the moment?
I have seen throughout history, too many leaders leading from the safety of the back, immune from the immediate consequences of poor decisions. In the throes of battle, I want to be on the field leading my team. I greatly believe in the old saying, “Never ask of your team that which you are not willing to give.” Leading by example in times of prosperity and adversity is a foundation builder. No single piece is greater than the sum of the entire organization. Integrity Business ethics has and always will be a great topic of conversation until the end of time; especially operating in a capitalistic society. Some take the position that “You do whatever is necessary to increase the bottom line, at whatever the cost.” The commitment to generate a positive cash flow is THE priority running a business because stating the obvious, without a positive cash flow, you are not in business for very long.
But as the old saying goes “All money is not good money” and it is important for a leader to recognize this. Turning a dollar for the sake of betraying your organization, your team and/or your community, while ignoring your moral compass to knowingly violate ethics is not the way. I would expect a responsible leader to understand and be beholden to this principle. Reflection of Fierce I reflect upon extraordinary moments in sports when great players named Jordan, Kobe, Montana and Brady would get a certain look in their eyes in championship situations. In moments where legends are born, there are players who will take the shot and players who live for that shot. To lead an organization to a high level, a leader needs to possess the ability to thrive in moments that require execution minus misstep.
Individuals react differently under pressure, some live in this environment and are outstanding while others wilt under the bright lights. Success is never an easy road, there will be struggle, there will be hard times, there will be pain but the ability to not only endure but to excel in these times is necessary to achieve maximum outcomes.
A leader who is mentally tough and willing to embrace the fire leading by example is powerful, but it is equally important for a leader to have compassion. Having the ability and willingness to connect with those you are leading while understanding how each individual operates is a beautiful characteristic to possess.
In the world of business things move fast and when in leadership, it is not possible to hand-walk the emotions of others on a second-by-second basis, but you must have the capacity to check in with your team. Outside pressures can affect work performance and a leader who has the heart to connect and monitor the overall well-being of those they are working with will receive a greater commitment to accomplishing the overall team goal of success.
We have all been exposed to situations where those charged with the task of leading have been quick to stand for the accolades of success but have disappeared expeditiously in the shadows during the darkness of failure. A true general will be there front and center for either outcome equally.
I have always been one that is quick to step aside and allow my team to bask in the glow of victory and take center stage when we have not met the expected level of success. It is important for a leader to not only hold the team accountable for decisions that are produced on every endeavor, but an individual leading must be willing to hold themselves accountable first and foremost.
Running a business while leading people is not an easy task. In the midst of trials and growth, ensuring that the face of your franchise has a high level of commitment and dependability is essential for prosperity. The road that leads us to success is often never a straight line, but rather a journey filled with many turns. A leader who lacks commitment may lose focus and be the cause of the ship to sink when dealing with turbulent waters.
Staying engaged day after day from a position of leadership helps the entire organization remain on track. Going off course after a short-term victory or defeat can derail the entire process and leave an organization in ruin. Having someone at the helm who is committed to the end goal through the various peaks and valleys is an extreme priority.
What other characteristics do you believe are important for a leader to possess? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lamont Anderson is a business consultant and President of ALA Enterprises. He is an entrepreneurial dreamer with accredited educational success with a master's and bachelor's in business with over 10 years of quality experience in the world of aviation. If you are need business growth strategy, contact him at email@example.com