Good leaders do things well. Great leaders teach and inspire others to do things well. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime! The same concept applies to leadership.
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So what characteristics do great leaders possess? They…
- Face the facts, no matter how brutal they may be.
Bad news is part of a business. Great leaders don’t just wait for it, they seek for it. Rather than waiting until a task or project is completed, they look for red flags and identify when it’s off-track to reach the stated objective. And they don’t kill the messenger—when an individual points out underperforming or failing projects, these leaders appreciate the fact that it was brought to their attention. Identifying the problems earlier gives them extra time to find the possible solution.
- Take accountability seriously.
Executives want to get regular updates on all projects, whether it’s a weekly task or primary objective of the project. They hold people accountable to do what they should be doing and completing the tasks on their plate. If goals aren’t being met, great leaders take the opportunity to discuss, gather insight, and make the adjustments necessary for the individuals and the team to win.
- Look for bright spots.
Great leaders actively look for not just good news, but victories that can be replicated across other departments and teams. It’s their job to observe and identify how these victories happened so the same strategies can be implemented elsewhere in their team for even greater success.
- Develop and prioritize winning moves.
Implementing too many strategies can spread a team too thin and result in things falling through the cracks. Instead, great leaders focus on several key strategies, which they discuss and debate with their executive teams before deciding on which ones will bring them closer to reaching its goals. Powerful winning moves will come from strategic thinking and decision-making, considering all the options and determining success.
- Focus on the best and brightest.
It’s easy to get distracted by new ideas and strategies. But if a goal is big and bold enough, everyone will feel excited to work for it. Rather than working on a bunch of smaller, less exciting ideas, a great leader will recognize the strategies that will motivate and inspire their teams to push toward success.
- Plan successful quarters.
Focusing on annual goals is great, but quarterly goals are the ones that get you there, and great leaders know that each week in a quarter is crucial. The best of them focus on having successful weeks so they can achieve the right results at the end of the quarter. For them it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Each leg of the race (or quarter) supports the end goal—helping you reach the finish line in first place.
- Encourage consistency but not complacency.
Getting into a rhythm can help any idea processes become as regular as breathing, but this doesn’t mean you should rest once you get there. When your project is predictable, growth stagnates and success can reach a limit. However, when a project is consistent, great leaders take that opportunity to focus on what’s needed to take it to the next level.
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