When you think about the qualities of a leader, what comes to mind first?
Leadership represents communication, management, drive, intuition, challenge and problem-solving.
There’s one main thing great leaders do and we’ve seen this throughout time. Great leaders ……?
Give up? Great leaders inspire and motivate. This is true in every type of scenario.
Politics, we see this frequently. Look at President Obama in 2008, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in 2016.
What about Martin King Jr. for Civil Rights or Abraham Lincoln? Even the great Mahatma Gandhi? These are 3 of the greatest leaders we’ve ever known.
While the 3 above were great leaders, we’ve also seen great leaders do bad, like Fidel Castro or Adolf Hitler. Were they great leaders? Absolutely, but due to their actions, it’s morally wrong to list them as great leaders. Leadership should be done so in a positive light, for the greater good, but all of us have our opinions.
All of these leaders do have one thing in common, they “inspired action.” That’s what great leaders do, but how can you become a great leader?
Leadership: How To Become A Great Leader
In this article, I will discuss;
- What Is Leadership
- Qualities Of A Leader
- Visionary Leadership
- Focusing On Your Company’s Strengths
- Problem Solving
- Social Excellence
- Motivating Your Team
- Focusing On What Really Matters
What Is Leadership?
Well, it depends on who you ask. Leadership means different things to different people. When you ask 100 people what leadership is, you could get 100 different answers.
For the sake of you reading, I’m going to cover leadership in different areas, but this article consist mainly of leadership in business.
To really focus on this leadership lesson, I want you to first look at the definitions of leadership.
Here you go;
“The Action Of Leading A Group Of People Or Organization”
When most of us hear “leadership,” we often relate it to this definition. Since most of my students are entrepreneurs and everyday people wanting to succeed in business, this is likely the definition that first comes to your mind also.
Qualities Of A Leader
Every successful business has good leaders or their company wouldn’t be successful. What are some of the core qualities of leadership in business?
- Social Skills – The most important quality of a leader is social skills, having the ability to encourage, inspire and motivate. But how?
- Actionable Personality – Leaders are successful when they can use their social skills to motivate what? “ACTION!”
- Management – Great leaders manage people, like a general on the battle field, the right pieces in your business must be placed correctly.
- Problem-Solving – Yes, the ability to solve problems and build strategies. A key core trait in all leadership.
- Influence – You bet, great leaders influence others around them. It makes you want to be around them.
Leadership Is Found In All Roles
It’s true, leadership can be found in all roles, all markets, all niches, A-Z. This is how I know my type of work can help everyone reading this.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader now, or you’re not, knowing how to become a leader that inspires action is crucial to your development. Honestly, are you best leader you can be? Can you be better? I know you can!
You can find leadership in all walks of life. It could be a political leader, a business leader, what about an athlete changing the world? While some will disagree, I believe anyone can be a leader with the right training.
Visionary leadership, so, so important in business. But why is having a vision so important?
Speaking in reference to business, a vision is much more than simply seeing the future of a business.
Setting your vision will help you create priorities, directions and workflow. It helps you set milestones, allowing you to see what is being achieved.
Focusing On Your Company’s Strengths
Great leadership knows how to focus on a company’s strengths and play off it.
Ask yourself the following questions;
- What does my company do best?
- How can we scale and monetize what works?
- What systems do you have in place now that work?
- How is our industry evolving?
One of the biggest mistakes I see companies making is focusing on too many working parts at a time.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, each department must have clear, precise direction and guidance. As a whole, your company can move ahead but only when each department is working as one unit.
For those of you that haven’t scaled your business, try focusing on one service or product at a time. If you don’t have departments in place, create them one at a time.
Problem solving, it’s the foundation of business. All customers have a problem that needs solved. I go to the gas station because I have no gas, the gas station solves my problem. I go to the car wash because I need my car cleaned, again solving a problem.
The better you understand how to solve the problems of customers, you give your business a higher
Great leaders are great problem solvers. Every business will need solutions at some point and how you deal with these scenarios can determine the success or failure of your business.
While you must stay focused on your business today, you have to look ahead, envision and plan.
There’s many ways to look ahead, market data, trends, leaders rely on data points and benchmarks. Tools and software are only as effective as the leaders using them. Invest in the right tools, without them, some jobs can’t be done.
Think of it like a mechanic. Every tool has a job, the same can be said in business. Everyone needs a defined role, defined task so your business can run efficiently.
Every leader must have social skills, one of the main characteristics of leadership today. You must be a people’s person. Great leadership starts at the relationships you build and not every relationship starts on the same level. So relationship building is crucial.
A lot of my insights come from books and personal experiences along the way. For those of you that have online businesses, building relationships is a cornerstone of any online business wanting to grow. Especially for those of you in affiliate marketing, online marketing, social media marketing and others.
Here’s some ways you can grow your social stock as a leader.
- Build genuine relationships – Very important to be genuine in all your relationships.
- Always remember first names – Remember those first names leaders, we all appreciate that.
- Be a great host – Conferences, training, mastermind groups, make sure you are the host they remember.
- Never talk bad about anyone – Sure, sometimes it can be tough to do. However, this will be a short-term and long-term benefit for you.
- Be social – Yes, common sense tip here but make sure you take advantage of every social opportunity you get.
Motivate Your Team
It’s easy to motivate your workers when things are going great, But what happens when times don’t go as planned?
As a leader, it’s your job to motivate and inspire. The moral of your business starts and ends with you.
Let’s look at a few ways you can motivate your staff.
- The power of “great job” goes a long way – We all want to be told we’re doing a great job, right? We also know when it’s sincere. When you have a team member or executive member going above and beyond, show your appreciation. Even when the impacts are small. I’ve always been respectful to my team, from the top all the way to the bottom. If you want to get the most of your team, give credit when it’s due.
- Hold a contest and reward performance – My team loves contest, yours will too. Hold a contest once a month and offer a fair reward for those that perform the best. This is a great way to spark creative thinking. You can hold contest in different departments, so you can get the whole squad involved.
- Start having creative sessions once a week – I love the idea of creative sessions I call it. This is when our team sits down to come up with new ideas. We do this once a week. Some of your greatest thinkers need this type of setting, it allows ideas to flow back and forth.
- Involve your team – Nobody wants to feel left out and unwanted. You’ll never get the best out of someone this way.
- Give out awards – This is one of my favorites. Remember when you were young and you received an award from school? Sports? Remember the way it made you feel? The same can be done now. There’s two ways to go about this, first, you can hold in-house awards. You can do monthly and yearly awards. Secondly, there’s a ton of business awards in many markets, make sure you submit your company to them. Not only can it inspire your team, it can give your business recognition.
- Take advantage of training – Training periods are always a great time to motivate and inspire. First, you should always have some sort of training for new staff. New members are usually optimistic when they first start working with a company, you can take this up a notch by letting them know performance is always rewarded. And I hope you do reward for performance
Focusing On What Real Matters
Has anyone heard of Peter Drucker? Very intelligent man. He once said, “management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.” How many of you are managing your team rather than leading? Read it again, management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.
Great leaders see the future and put their company’s vision to work.
But how do you focus on the most important things for your business? Simple, you focus on what your business MUST HAVE. Prioritize.
Every business needs a sales system in place, right? Without sales, you have no business. Every business must sell something or you won’t have a business. Period.
Every business needs channels to reach their target audience. For businesses that operate both online and offline, you have the web, search engines and social media. For brick and mortar, you have print, radio and television. Must have it. Just as you need a sales system, you need a media system also.
Yes, leadership. Leadership is priority. If you want to be “BIG,” you have to think big. You need all the qualities in this guide, you need vision, social skills, a great team and it all starts with the leader. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.” Surround yourself with great thinkers and innovators.
All 3 of these are priority in your business. Sure, we can label money because every business needs money to invest and operate. We can mention having a “A-Team” working behind you because that’s important. All of these have a rightful place in conversation. But when I have to label the top 3 priorities for any business to focus on, sales systems, media and leadership is my top choices.
For those of you that are looking to take your leadership to the next level, do as I do. Learn from the best leaders the world has seen, leaders in business, leaders in politics, religion, what ever leadership meets your goals. Learn, read books, it will help you fine tune your leadership skills.
One of the key core factors that I’ve found over the years to be true is the importance of consistency. Be consistent across the board. This helps you build structure throughout your business.