The Characteristics Leaders (Should) Embrace
We all know there is a certain culture involved in every office space. We work together as a team and create a specific company culture– and hopefully it’s a productive, compassionate one. Of course, the way the employees interact with each other is part of that, but it really starts with the leader. A good leader knows that the characteristics and work ethic they put forth will trickle into the office culture. “Lead by example!” Right? Of course, right. If you–as the leader
— want to help develop a rewarding and engaging environment, you have to set the trend. Ben Peterson wrote for Inc.com
four great characteristics leaders embrace in their everyday work lives. Let’s check those out, shall we?
- “Integrity” A quick Google search tells us that integrity has the following definitions: “1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. 2. the state of being whole and undivided.” Being in integrity is so much more than just staying honest and fair. It’s about listening to your conscience telling you what is right and what will help you feel complete. That’s quite the grand concept, we know, but it’s an important one. We have to act in a way that fosters completeness. A great leader embraces the little voice inside that tells us how to treat others and how to treat ourselves. As entrepreneurs, we can’t focus on lies and moral inexactitudes. It tears us away from the present. It takes all our energy to keep that up and we don’t move forward. Stay in integrity and what it does for your company and for your team.
- “Empathy” All successful companies begin and end with relationships. People need people. Because of that, we can’t go around being assholes to our team. We must empathize with their individual struggles and praise them for their strengths. It’s about creating an atmosphere of trust and respect and allowing for open discussion. Empathy comes from truly listening to the other, in valuing and validating their opinions. Treating your team with empathy fosters healthy communication, productive work, and increased success.
- “Accountability” Wow, how important is this one, huh? We cannot stress enough the importance of accountability. This is more than just owning up to the mistakes we have made. It’s much more about letting the individual take credit for their innovative ideas. Just because we may be the leaders, does not make it okay for us to take all of the credit. Success is a collaborative effort. The other side of being accountable is, of course, knowing when to step up and take the blame. When the leader feels comfortable admitting failure, the team will step up as well. The key here is to follow up with a plan to get back on the horse (as the metaphor goes). Take responsibility and then find a way to move forward.
- “Humility” We don’t know everything. Let’s get that point across first. Just because someone has the leadership role or a precious C-Suite title, does not make them all-knowing. In fact, these are the people who should be the most humble. Leaders should inspire others to shine, not stand in the spotlight, hogging all the glory. Encourage your team to share opinions and challenge the norm. Collaboration is vital. When the leader embraces humility and asks the team for their collective voices, we create a space of innovation.
Okay, so these are just four–albeit great– tips to try out as leaders. What do you think? Are you up for the challenge of embracing these awesome qualities as the leader? We think so.