9 characteristics of good leadership
Successful companies are not led by a bunch of managers who just hand out tasks and delegate things. A successful company is led by real leaders, who inspire the people around them and steer the course of the company.
Good leaders also make employees happier, more engaged, and more productive. This has a positive impact on the company that can be seen in every layer of the company. But how do you become a good leader yourself?
Sometimes things don't go as you expected and sometimes things go wrong. No one has a crystal ball and everyone makes mistakes. A good leader knows this and is not afraid to take responsibility when he or she makes a mistake.
This shows your employees that you understand that anyone can make mistakes, but that you think ahead, deal constructively with such situations, and will not point the finger at anyone. In the future, employees will therefore be more inclined to report errors or mistakes proactively, so that you as a team can respond more quickly to this.
Leave room for trial and error.
A good leader knows that employees don't develop simply by receiving assignments and executing them mindlessly. The greatest growth is achieved when someone is presented with a problem, can come up with a solution, and then apply it.
When you keep telling your team what to do and how to do it, no development takes place. Occasionally something will go wrong, but leave room for trial and error and support your employees where necessary. Learn to coach and not to conduct.
Always stay positive
As a leader you are, as it were, the captain of the ship. When things go awry, you have to be the one to take the lead and stay positive so that others can act on it.
In stressful situations, people often don't know how to react or behave, and then instinctively tend to look at a leader figure. If you can stay positive, you pull the rest of the team with you and you come out stronger together.
Connect with your employees
To be able to lead a group of employees well, you must know what is going on with each individual. You shouldn't turn their whole lives inside out and follow every step they take, but you should know what drives them, what makes them happy, their strengths and weaknesses, and where they want to go.
This knowledge will allow you to determine whether someone is suitable for a certain task, how you interact with someone, how you give feedback, ... It also gives you insight into why someone is performing well or badly, and how they must respond to.
Encourage honest and open communication
Perhaps the biggest cliché when it comes to management and communication, but oh so true. When certain members of a team have a disagreement and don't communicate about it, the situation is guaranteed to get out of hand. In such cases, prevention is better than cure.
That is why it is so important that you as a leader stimulate honest and open communication. Problems or annoyances must be nipped in the bud as soon as possible so that harmony within the team is maintained.
Note, not everyone is assertive enough for this. So make sure that others know that they can confide in you if necessary.
Encourage personal development
As a leader, you know that to make progress with your company, your team must develop continuously. That is why it is important to create an environment in which employees are invited to personal and professional development.
This can be done, for example, by offering initiatives such as courses or online learning platforms, attending events together, attending webinars, providing books, and so on. You can also individually provide a monthly or annual budget that everyone can spend on one of the previous ideas.
Be open to feedback
A good leader realizes that he or she is not perfect and that you have to keep developing as a leader. An important aspect in which you must continue to grow is how you exercise your leadership.
By proactively asking for feedback about your leadership from your employees, you gain insight into how they experience this and you see from a different perspective how exactly you act in certain situations. You can then take this information with you in your reflection to become an even better leader.
Be open to new ideas.
A good leader also realizes that he or she does not know everything. By rejecting ideas from others because they have a lower function than you, you single-handedly torpedo the growth of your business.
The more perspectives you have, the greater the chance that you will come up with a good (or better) idea. To stimulate new ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship within your organization by, for example, an idea box or a weekly brainstorming session.
Build a team around you
As your business grows, more and more choices, tasks, and responsibilities will come into play. At some point, as a leader, you will no longer be able to absorb all of these yourself, and it is time to build a team around you.
Use the strengths of the people in your team and put them in the right places. Grow your employees step by step by systematically giving larger assignments and responsibilities, and gradually reduce your support. Regularly ask how they experience this and what help or resources they need to succeed in their project. This will not only make your team stronger, but you will also be able to focus more on other things. If done correctly, your business will grow faster than ever before.