When it comes to business, a leader is not just someone who runs the company. No. He’s not just a person who gives out orders and forces people to work for him as hard as they possibly can.
A potential leader can be found anywhere. Low level, mid or management, it doesn’t matter, all great leaders have to start somewhere.
A leader is someone to whom people listen.
In my life, I’ve been surrounded by people who were both good and bad leaders. Some of them were real showmen who knew when to step up, encourage, animate, take charge and drag their team through the mud to glory, others were just egomaniacs who used to hide behind their titles and exploit people for their own personal gain.
I like to think that there’s a thin line between being a great leader and a blood-sucking dictator.
To me, a great leader is a person who comes up with an idea, gets people to believe in his goals, shares his passion with them and does whatever is possible and necessary to make his dreams become reality.
He doesn’t scam people, nor does he lie or cheat. He doesn’t get off on winning petty arguments, nor does he waste his time and energy on trivial things.
A great leader is someone who believes in success, and who knows that there’s nothing more valuable than a group of people who’s determined to achieve something.
This type of individual knows how to recognize a great prospect and transform it into a successful business venture.
All great company owners want to have potential leaders in their team. Every big shot CEO has a guy or lady on whom he can rely. They are their “go to” people.
The problem is, they are not that easy to spot.
In a sea of overly ambitious people with all sorts of different career and life goals, it is not always that easy to spot a potential leader who, if given a chance, could end up being a key employee in your company’s future success.
To help you separate them from all the future dictators, I have constructed a list of 5 key characteristics that every possible leader should initially have:
When I think about the word leader, the first thing that comes my mind is confidence. This is the characteristic every single healthy minded human being should have.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to show everyone that you’re a person who truly believes in himself.
You need to get everyone to notice that you’re a man who’s most certainly brave enough to trust his judgement and fight for what he stands for.
Back in the day, when I was starting my career, I used to share an office with this one guy who was brilliant. He was constantly coming up with great ideas on how to make our job a lot easier and productive, but he was too afraid to share his thoughts with the management.
He had no voice, and because of that, he still work as an easily replaceable operative.
This guy was far more concerned what people would think of him if have demanded a bit more attention, instead of what his suggestions will actually be doing for the entire company.
Sure, not all of our ideas are brilliant. Some of them will go into consideration, others will be immediately discarded.
But still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Being afraid of failure is probably the single biggest thing that makes brilliant people live mediocre lives.
Trust yourself, be brave and bold, and I promise you, life will reward you for your courage.
2. Great Communication Skills
No matter if you have the confidence and the ideas that make a great leader, if you don’t know how to get others to believe in your goals, you’ll never see yourself on the top of the mountain.
This is why knowing how to communicate your values is so important. Your communication skills determine how attached your team is to your vision. If you want to be a great leader some day, you need to know how to colorfully and precisely present your vision to the ones around you, so they truly end up believing in your cause.
Without appropriate communication your coworkers will not know what they are really working for and just how important their involvement really is. This will eventually have a large effect on their productivity.
Training new members and getting a larger percentage of people to join your cause and believe in your ideas all depends on your ability to communicate in a clear and healthy manner.
Learn how to motivate, point out, encourage, make yourself available, but above everything else, learn how to listen and say “thank you” when it’s truly necessary.
It is amazing what you can learn when you just listen. Never underestimate the ideas of your staff. They too are capable of coming up with great suggestions.
Many of these individuals really care about their work and they’re willing to take that extra step in order to reach their goals.
3. Knowing When to Stand Your Ground, and When to Back Off
Every great leader knows how to pick his battles. You cannot own every situation, no matter how stubborn, well educated or right you are about something.
In some scenarios, you cannot win just because you talk more and appeal to your interlocutors ego.
If you want to get ahead in life, you got to be a bit more tactical. You need to know how to analyze the situation and see if this specific debate or case is something that you really want to be part off.
Going head to head with everyone and anyone will get you running to the unemployment office faster than you can say “leader”, and you don’t want that.
4. Set an Example
Once you’ve gotten everyone’s attention and you’re recognized as someone who could one day end up being on top, it is of high importance that you invest your time and energy in becoming a role model for the entire office.
Now that you’re a person to whom people look up to, you’re in the position of setting the general tone and atmosphere in your firm.
As long as you’re coming everyday on time and trying your best to accomplish something more, others will too.
If you come in a messy shirt, and you just sit around and talk garbage all day, your coworkers will accept that as a legitimate office behavior, which is certainly not good for you and your management.
From now on, how your colleagues behave and how they think about what their doing, it all comes depends on your attitude.
Now that you know this, be sure to act like you’re being followed around by thousands of paparazzi photographers.
Leadership is a popular subject, and we know there are many authors out there that constantly write their thoughts about how to better yourself, how to stand tall and how to make people see that you have what it takes to become the next king of the office.
In this article, I shared my experiences with you, and working on what kind of skills did help me become a CEO of a very promising firm.
I hope this list has some value to you, because it most certainly does for me. These are the 4 major characteristics I’ll be looking for in any of my current or future employees.
Thanks for reading. If you liked what I wrote here, share this post with your friends. Who knows, maybe there’s a potential leader in some of them who just needs that little extra push to realize that.