Find out what leadership traits you need so that you can focus on improving them. Leadership in the right hands can do more to improve productivity, retention, and employee loyalty than anything else.
So 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. 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.
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!