This post was provided by Featured Writer Leslie Branch from Blog Services Inc.whose writing has been featured on numerous educational websites and blogs. If you are interested in learning more about pursuing a degree in leadership, check out Guide to Online Schools.
Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the team leader of a small department, there are certain key actions that leaders take which inspire people to follow them faithfully.
Be Open to Disagreement
When a leader is open to hearing the contrary opinions of their team members, it shows a level of respect for the team that is then reciprocated. Be willing to meet in person with subordinates to show your concern for their opinions – even if they contrast with your own.
In times of difficulty, the leader of an organization should sacrifice him or herself before asking members of the team to make sacrifices. For example, before laying off staff, a CEO should cut corners in his or her own job perks, i.e. taking a temporary salary cut until the organization gets back on its feet.
It’s fine for leaders to keep the true state of their organization in quiet confidence, only sharing the situation with a select few higher-ups. However, it’s crucial for leaders to face the reality – however harsh – of the organization if they’re ever to navigate a way out of a bad situation.
Put Family First
Many leaders make the ultimate sacrifice of putting their business before their family. However, this often puts undue pressure on staff members to fill the role of both family and workforce, often putting in late hours with a boss who expects everyone else to sacrifice their personal life for their professional life as well.
If you’re happy with a staff member’s work, show appreciation to ensure a consistently high performance. Although bonuses and tangible job perks are ideal ways to reward high performance, a simple “thank you” in-person or by email can also go a long way in inspiring people.
Know your Weaknesses
Most people don’t get to be leaders without knowing and employing their own strengths. However, knowing your weaknesses can be just as important. Effective leaders demonstrate organizational management by surrounding themselves with a team of experts in areas they tend to be weaker in to ensure all bases are covered.
Balance Short-Term Goals with a Long-Term Vision
Unlike any other member of an organization, leaders must always have a grasp of the organization’s short-term direction and how it will ultimately fulfill their vision. For example, the CEO of an organization might know that its short-term priorities are cash flow management, but that the operations the company’s pursuing to secure cash flow aren’t interfering with a long-term vision, such as strategic partnerships.
Effective leaders take an active role in inspiring their team to pursue their passions and encourage their endeavors. This may translate to offering professional development classes in your organization.
True humility, particularly from people in positions of power, can be inspiring and engender trust. Approach leadership from the perspective of “leading to serve.”
A leader who splashes out on fancy cars and overly-ornate office furnishings, particularly after the organization has received funding does not inspire trust.
Don’t Ramble, Rant or Berate Others
Instead of “thinking aloud,” it’s important for leaders to organize and process their first impressions before blurting them out. Otherwise, team members could become confused about which priorities require action and generally lose faith in their leader’s decisiveness and discretion.
Meet Deadlines and Commitments
A president who fails to meet financial goals or a coach who’s late for meetings do nothing to inspire others to follow their lead. A leader who can’t be counted on to do what they say is in danger of a resentful, uninspired and uncommitted team.
Question: How do you feel that people can be leaders regardless of their positions