Organizational leadership can make or break an organization. Studies have found that 50% of people who leave their jobs quit because of their managers. As a reflection of leadership ability, that equates to a 50% failure rate. Poor leadership leads to high turnover rates, low morale, and continuity issues.
What Makes a Good Leader?
Good leadership can be defined many ways, but three aspects are found consistently in organizational studies.
Respect is a continuously cited trait across leadership studies. Treatment of peers, subordinates, and superiors all affect the success of a leader. Leaders who show empathy and trust their employees’ decisions are considered successful. Condescending, micromanaging, and nit-picky supervisors are viewed unfavorably, as one might imagine. Good leaders praise in public and correct in private, but also take the blame when things go south.
Good leaders follow through on promises and take responsibility for their decisions. They will hear all sides of an argument, decide, and then accept whatever consequences might come. Being accountable for what occurs under their watch builds confidence and trust with not only subordinates, but superiors also. With trust and confidence, the channels of communication stay open and honest.
3. Effective Communication
Successful leaders not only communicate the company’s needs effectively, they also inspire others with their words. This doesn’t mean that a good leader must be a motivational public speaker. It simply means that good leaders know how to communicate effectively with others, whether one-on-one or in a group setting. It is also important to note that leaders understand that communication is a two-way street. Good leaders do not always dominate conversation; they encourage back and forth dialogue as well.
Few people are born leaders. Most great leaders only become such after years of study and trial and error. When thinking about your leadership style, ask yourself what you would have wanted in a leader when you first began your career, and try to become that person at each opportunity. Leadership counseling and training are great ways to take that extra step toward becoming an excellent leader.