What does it mean to be a good leader? Read about the top qualities of good leaders and learn how to put those skills into practice.
As we quickly approach the end the year, self-reflection and review is a common theme around the office. One question that always seems to make an appearance during the annual review process is in relation to leadership. Is your manager a good leader? Are you a good leader?
In the world of fleet management, leadership skills can support company success, whether your goal is to cut fuel costs, strengthen compliance or proactively manage safety.
So, what is leadership?
There are many varying perspectives on the qualities necessary for effective leadership. Some argue, “Great leaders are born, not made.” While others argue it takes time to learn and practice leadership skills in order to be an effective leader.
Leadership is about more than just giving orders. It’s about gaining the trust and respect of your employees by inspiring them to perform successfully.
Good leaders have these characteristics:
“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell, author and speaker on leadership
This is arguably the most important skill a great leader should have.
Great leaders have vision. They have an exciting idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish. Having vision changes a manager into a leader. And this vision should be a dream or direction that other people want to share and follow. It needs to go beyond the organisational mission or vision statement.
Practical ways to display vision:
- Articulate your vision clearly. (Why are we doing what we are doing?)
- Inspire enthusiasm, belief and excitement.
- Help employees believe they are part of something bigger than themselves.
- Communicate and share your vision regularly — at all levels of the organization.
See Also: Q&A with Geotab Founder, Neil Cawse
“Live with integrity and lead with integrity.”
In the most simplistic definition, integrity is the deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances. Integrity strengthens business. At the core, integrity means being honest, moral, trustworthy and ethical.
In the workplace, leaders are role models and will be judged. They are judged on character since their words, actions, decisions and methodologies help create the company’s values and culture. And followers are more willing to be vulnerable to leaders they trust and respect.
Practical ways to display integrity:
- Be honest and treat people well.
- Hold yourself accountable.
- Find out how you are viewed. Talk to your managers, employees and others to learn about areas for improvement.
“Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand.” – Francisco Dao, columnist
Good leaders aren’t afraid of being challenged. In fact, they probably would encourage it. No decision is without risk and having the confidence to make hard decisions is essential to leadership.
Practical ways to display self-confidence:
- Own your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
- Be open to risks (at least calculated risks). Be willing to achieve your goal with no assurance of success.
- Lead meetings and speeches with authority. The greater your force of will, the more faith your followers will have in the company and mission.
No matter the industry, good leadership never goes out of style and will always be a skill in demand.
More from Management:
How to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace
Work Productivity and the Multitasking Myth
How to Excel at Value Selling