I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership recently. Partly because it’s always on my mind and partly because I wrote about Brené Brown last week.
I came across this great article on Forbes.com that dictates 10 leadership traits we have to share.
- “Listen to instinct.” Most likely you were promoted into a management position because you have drive and passion and have natural skill for championing others. Listen to your gut and stay in your integrity– try not to micromanage just because others do. Pay attention to your instincts and just be YOU.
- “Understand you don’t know it all.” A good leader recognizes that they do not have all the answers. And that is okay! A title doesn’t mean you will magically know everything or that you HAVE to know everything. It’s actually okay to stop and search for answers with your team. Honestly, it builds trust and respect because you are willing to investigate with them.
- “Search for people who know more.” It’s a good hiring move to hire people smarter than yourself. Like I said above, no one person can know everything. It takes a team of people to come together and innovate. Try to find people who know things you don’t so you can all lean on each other to move forward.
- “Own responsibility.” This is a hard lesson to learn, but here it is: you cannot play the blame game as a leader. Your team and their work is ultimately your responsibility. If they make a mistake, it is a reflection of you, so you should never throw them under the bus. Own the responsibility of your team and make sure they know you are looking out for them. Be their advocate!
- “Deliver hard news.” Being a leader means having tough conversations. Sometimes you will have to deliver bad news– that is unavoidable. Do so straightforwardly and with compassion. Your team will be much happier to know what’s going on without uncertainty. This also gives them an opportunity to adjust and do better moving forward if needed.
- “Seek true competition.” Competition is healthy. As long as it’s done with integrity, of course. Seeking out a nice dose of competition will keep you on your toes and help you constantly improve. A true win is better when you know that you’ve earned it.
- “Ask for pushback.” Feedback is so important- and that is on both sides. Expect and encourage your team to push back on ideas they don’t agree with or can expand on. Great leaders surround themselves by teammates that challenge ideas because they know that’s how innovation happens.
- “Confront personal weaknesses.” No one is perfect. Come to terms that we all have weaknesses. By confronting those obstacles, you can work to overcome them. The strongest leaders fails forward and owns when they’ve made a mistake.
- “Challenge their comfort zone.” Staying in your comfort zone is truly the death of a business. You have to constantly move forward. As you know, challenging your comfort zone where innovation happens. So, make sure to try out new things, make bold moves, and seek profound change.
- “Give credit and kudos.” This goes hand in hand with owning responsibilities. You HAVE to give credit where credit is due. Also, making sure your team knows how proud of their work you are through kudos. Be an advocate for their work and they will work that much harder.
Being a leader is not an easy task. It requires an immense amount of vulnerability and sacrifice. Hopefully this quick and digestible guide will help you on your journey through management!