6 Inspiring Things Great Leaders Do
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us know great leaders when we see them. We can’t always say why they are great, but as we look closer we may spot characteristics that most of them share.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, a group that serves 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, says there are key things great leaders often do.
They are strong and responsive – Genuine perception and assistance springs from strength. Strong leaders are honest and straightforward, helping their people do the best job possible as they provide a solid base with support and feedback.
They are encouraging, but real – Most of us know every business has ups and downs, and leaders are faced with the task of keeping everything moving through smooth and rough waters. I watched a strong leader do this with a very demanding job. He inspired many people to keep on going, and did everything he could to make good things happen.
They teach with their actions – Successful leaders put in the time, and make the effort, sharing the load with their workers. Lesser leaders may make requests without doing the homework.
They are there for their people – Workers know the difference when they have a leader who is there for them, or not. Weak leaders often quickly shift the blame when something goes wrong. Strong leaders accept responsibility and communicate with their workers to fix whatever is needed. In turn, they get workers who work hard for them, and back them up whenever they can.
They have an open door – Workers usually know when they can have an open dialogue with their leaders. Great leaders reach out to find out what their workers are thinking. In turn, they share as much as they can about the big picture. An open channel can generate a lot of new ideas that work for everybody.
They specialize in people – One of my favorite leaders made it his business to read people, and understand what makes them tick. He directed a huge group that depended on research and grants. There was a steady parade of meetings with many people seeking his advice. That climate was extended further with large scientific research retreats that helped people grow and make more contacts. Countless grants came out of those efforts, and he was right at the center making it happen.
Every group is different, but their leaders often share similar characteristics that help everyone move forward.
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