We think a lot about leadership at Spektrix. We know how important it is and the difference it makes. Leadership is the difference between good and great. It inspires people to take risks, to go the extra mile and to be the best that they can be.
Whilst, of course, we believe in leadership at the top of an organization, equally we believe that everyone has the potential to be a leader. The traits we see in motivational leaders aren’t unique or dependent on experience, they’re a set of individual qualities that we see in everyone in our team. But it’s when those qualities come together that we start to see leaders forming.
So let’s explore what those qualities are.
- Having a clear vision. Great leaders know what they want to achieve and unite people behind a common goal or mission. They see an opportunity to do things better, they embrace change and they inspire people to follow them on their journey.
- Communicating clearly and listening constantly. It doesn’t matter how strong a vision or idea you have, if you can’t communicate it you’re stuck. Great leaders are good orators, but they’re equally good listeners. They can engage a variety of people from different backgrounds, quickly understand their motivation and work with with them to gain buy-in to their vision.
- Able to be the decision maker. Perhaps the hardest quality within a leader is the ability to make tough decisions. It’s crucial to know when to compromise versus when to stand your ground when making strong, and sometimes unpopular decisions. But equally important is taking people on the journey of that decision making process. It’s about finding the balance between asserting authority and working collaboratively.
- Being responsible and accountable. Taking responsibility for not only their own decisions and performance, but of those working around them is a standout quality in leaders. A leader will take accountability for the delivery of their vision and goals, and they’ll dig in with the wider team to make sure it’s achieved.
- Remaining people-focused. More often than not, success isn’t down to one person, but a team of people. Great leaders are focused on the people around them, on understanding other people’s needs and opinions, on their performance and happiness, and on their development. They’re approachable, always willing to listen to people’s thoughts and feedback, and always willing to answer questions on their vision.
- Empowering those around them. Often, being a great leader is about working to get the best out of everyone working with them. One person can’t do everything, so they need to be amazing at identifying the right people for the job, hiring people better than themselves, setting their team up for success and delegating tasks effectively.
- Being empathetic to others’ needs. We’re all different and we all have full lives inside and outside of work. Great leaders understand that, they can stand in other people’s shoes, view things from their perspective and then they can build meaningful relationships based on shared understanding and trust.
- Staying honest. “Honesty is the best policy” is a soundbite for a reason. We don’t always get it right all the time, we’re not perfect. A good leader should know when to admit mistakes as well as keeping their team in the know at all times. There are no benefits from hiding from the truth so it’s good to remember to keep communication streams open and honest. And remember to be honest about positive things as well!
- Having a positive attitude. Being optimistic is contagious and will keep a team motivated and energised. Every great leader I’ve ever met has come into work everyday with a positive attitude and an unwavering belief in their team’s ability to achieve their company’s goals. The result is a positive but productive atmosphere, and one that is enjoyable to work in.
Leading a team can be a tricky balancing act. The most important thing for a leader is to make sure that everyone believes in what you’re doing and what you’re all working towards. But it’s not just a one-time thing. It’s a constant learning game, taking a lot of practice and trial and error to get it right. All leaders will make mistakes at some stage, but it’s the ability to learn from them and pass on their knowledge that sets great leaders apart.