How many leaders do you know?
In your day to day life, you might deal with leaders in the classroom, the workplace, at events, clubs, meetings, or social activities. These leaders help make whatever you are doing, seeing, or attending, happen. But how do you know they are leaders? They (most likely) aren’t wearing a bright green badge that says “Leader”. Yet, you can pick them out of a crowd. That’s because you’ve picked up – whether at work, school, or the home – what types of traits most leaders have.
But great leaders aren’t most leaders.
Owyang found that effective leaders had four traits in common:
- A clear, shared vision;
- The commitment to see it through;
- Enablement to get the task done; and
- Accountability put in place.
Let’s make like break dancers and break it down.
All leaders have a team to steer. The difference between all leaders and effective leaders is the shared vision amongst the leaders’ team. Owyang thinks of leadership like a ship – everyone on the ship has unique duties to keep the ship afloat, but it is the leader’s job to get the ship heading in the right direction. And how does an effective leader do this? By keeping his or her team on the same page when it comes to the vision and mission of a job. An effective leader creates a bond amongst the team by sharing a complete and goal-oriented vision.
Once everyone is on board and working towards the same goal, the leader needs to remain engaged and active in the vision. Losing interest, losing control, or losing sight of the end goal is dangerous to a ship – much like a team at work. Once the leader loses the commitment to complete the job, the team members will soon fall to the wayside as well. An effective leader must keep motivations up and engagement high until the end. As a leader, if you lose interest, what do you think your employees are thinking?
If everyone could do every task on their own, there would be no need for leaders. A ship doesn’t steer itself, it requires a whole team. That’s why a leader must make sure that everyone on the team is equipped with the right tools to help steer the ship. Telling someone what to do does not make a good leader. Showing them, providing information, and giving them the right tools to succeed makes a good leader.
What happens when the project loses steam, or runs aground? The leader must be held accountable for his or her team. This wouldn’t scare an effective leader. Why? Because effective leaders have provided the right tools, given the right vision, and motivated the team ahead. So sh*t happens. A leader must realize that times might be tough at work: an employee leaves, the budget is shrunk, or the project is dissolved. An effective leader maintains responsibility and accountability. We all know the blame-game never works at work.
Good leaders create good work environments.
And here at The Good Jobs, we are all about good work!