One of the most important leadership traits anyone would want to be known for is trust!
Every thing you do will hinge on whether your staff has trust in what you are doing and saying.
Let's think about trust in the truest form.
Leadership Traits - A newborn baby will blindly trust their parents!
A new born baby blindly will trust their parent. Why because they provide for all their needs. In the babies case it is food, shelter, safety, diaper changes, etc. As the baby grows older this trust could either be reinforced or eroded depending on the actions of the parent.
If the child was abused by their original parents and is placed into the custody of the state, the new care takers will face the challenge of helping the child to begin to trust again.
The workplace is not all that different.
Good leadership skills require that you provide for the needs of your staff and insure that you always communicate the truth to them. When I talk about communicating with your staff make sure it is not always just about business. Be a human being and talk about real life events and things that are going on whether in your life or theirs.
Leadership Traits - What are the real needs of your staff?
Sounds simple enough! Then why does it seem so hard in real time situations.
Think about the needs of your staff. What are they really?
Your list may start off with the obvious. Things like computer, paper, pens, desk, chair, and so on.
But what are their real needs, since in most cases we could get a robot to provide those things listed above.
I am speaking more about things like recognition, compassion, time with their families, time to listen to their complaints (which are a loud and clear list of needs), help with problems, and on and on.
Leadership Traits -Trust is built in only one way!
You see good leadership skills demand that you build trust.
Trust is built in only one way!
A clear investment of your time to figure out all their needs and then filling those needs as it relates to their professional life.
So if you want your staff to trust you, stop and really listen when they come into your office and tell you about a personal situation that maybe, just maybe, you can do something to help out with.
Leadership Traits -They inform you that their Dad has cancer!
As an example.
They come into your office and inform you that their Dad has just been diagnosed with cancer. They tell you that their Dad lives close by and needs to receive chemotherapy three times per week.
Of course their need most likely is that they would like to be able to take their Dad to those treatments. In addition, depending on the stage the cancer may be in they most likely want to spend as much time with them as possible.
This is a time to help them figure out a way to make all this possible, if you can. Just trying to help them helps to build trust. Make sure your help is sincere.
Doing this separates the manager that will be trusted going forwarded and the manager that is in it just for their self. No matter what direction you take the results will be seen by everyone!
Leadership Traits - Poor attendance, work related accidents, lack of productivity!
Trust must be earned!
Just as the baby that is abused and no longer trusts the parent or any adult, the employee that is abused by a previous leader will take time to reestablish trust in new leadership.
The result of a lack of trust by your staff will play out in many ways such as attendance, work related accidents, lack of productivity, lack of team work, and so on.
Changing this over night with a quick fix is not going to happen. Trust takes time and effort to establish and sustain.
Again, it starts with providing for their needs and speaking the truth. One untruth takes a lot of actual truths to erase so choose your words carefully. Think before you speak!
Leadership Traits Through the Eyes of a Marine!
What leadership traits make a great leader?
Having spent time in the United States Marine Corps I feel I can speak to this question with authority!
Let's start the discussion with trust.
Trust is more than just being honest.
Trust is more than just keeping ones word when they make a statement.
Trust is a living, breathing, ever growing leadership trait that takes time and commitment to earn but can be washed away in a single action!
Trust is not earned with idle words that on the surface are true!
Trust is lived out each and every day of a leader's life.
People watch and measure a leader's actions very closely and critically.
People watch and measure a leader's actions very closely and critically. If someone cheats on their spouse how easy will it be for them to lie to you! If they hear you criticize someone behind their back their trust in you will be washed away!
One of the most critical violations of trust would be throwing one of your staff members under the bus for a decision you made, or worse to save yourself!
So as far as leadership traits go Trust is at the top of the list!
Tied for second place would be Servant and Unselfishness!
Serving your staff does not mean taking orders from them I
In the most basic sense it means that you will meet all of their needs as it relates to their job.
Notice I said needs and not desires!
A need would be to be respected.
A need would be to have the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies to do their job correctly.
A need would be to feel appreciated.
A need would be to be treated fairly.
Unselfishness is a little bit harder to define but nonetheless still extremely important as far as leadership traits go.
If we don't keep things in perfect balance it violates every principal of good business practices.
It's easy to say we must put our staff before ourselves, but what exactly does that mean?
In addition, if we don't keep things in perfect balance it violates every principal of good business practices.
For instance, if we only concern ourselves with our employees and forget about our customer and owner we will soon be out of business.
The same can be said if we give all the advantages to either the owner or customer.
So giving our staff things is not what is meant by being unselfish!
It is sacrificing our time to make sure that they have what they need.
It might be stopping to check on them when you have a pile of work sitting you're your desk.
It might be putting everything aside and doing what you can to help when you hear of a tough time they are going through.
It might be taking responsibility for your team when things go bad, but giving credit to an individual when they deserve it.
Understanding that there are many more examples and many more leadership traits but I am hopeful you understand the importance of the three leadership traits listed above.
Bottom line is that your actions speak much more loudly than any of your words could ever do!
As a leader you are being watched 100% of the time, and please never forget that!
Thank you and May God Bless You!
Thank you for visiting this page on Leadership Traits - Return to the Home Page