We all take as an example for leadership form the leaders who marked their time, their era: Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, etc …
We all agree that these people are formidable managers and leaders, showing exceptional leadership.
But what brought them to this point?
What is the recipe for moving from a team leader to a leadership position?
What makes the whole world recognize them as leaders?
How to develop your leadership?
What is a good leader?
Before answering these questions, it is important to ask yourself what a good leader is.
A good leader is someone who gives a vision, a common objective, and who motivates and involves his teams to all work together to achieve this objective.
A good leader is someone who supports their employees and helps them grow.
A good leader is someone who trains with teams in the same direction, gives them the means to achieve objectives and challenges.
In the end, good leadership is dynamic, a whole that is based on a multitude of qualities, on the personality of the leader.
How do you recognize a true leader?
It is not easy to analyze the characteristics of a true leader, because it is a whole, specific to each one.
However, there are 12 habits that consistently stand out in anyone who demonstrates exceptional leadership.
Find out how to develop your leadership.
1) show courage
Employees need a strong leader, who knows how to make difficult decisions, who knows how to protect his teams and stay the course in difficult times.
A good leader does not give up at the first difficulty encountered: he accepts trials as tests and knows that the path to the company’s goal is not a long calm river.
Under the fire of adversity, the leader must sharpen himself, show even more determination to achieve the goal, and must know how to learn from his mistakes.
You know it just as I do: before getting behind someone, we always wait to see their courage, their determination, their perseverance.
A team will thus be much more willing to show courage if its leader sets an example.
2) Communicate effectively
Communication is the cornerstone of leadership and management.
It is fine to set a vision, a strategic objective for the company, if we do not communicate on it, how then to create team cohesion, a common vision?
How to inspire and motivate people without communication?
Communication is the basis of all relationships, personal and professional. It is necessary to create a human, emotional bond with its teams.
You really have to try to understand others, to speak the same language as your teams, to meet their basic needs.
And always, demonstrate authenticity and transparency.
3) be generous
A good leader doesn’t take all the credit.
If a project is a success, it is not thanks to the management but really thanks to the quality of the work delivered by the technical teams.
He knows when to be generous and showcase his teams.
He knows how to involve them in order to give the best of themselves: not because the results will improve the performance of the company, but because they consider his employees as people and that he is committed to helping them grow.
4) stay humble
It is not because we have a position of responsibility, that we are N + 1, N + 2, a leader that our authority should give us the impression of better worth than others.
Because in the end, we can have all the responsibilities in the world, if we have no one in the operational teams willing to move forward to achieve our vision, we will not achieve anything.
Advancing a company towards the vision that we have, carrying out a project, is only done by teamwork.
A good leader must therefore show humility, and not hesitate to wet the shirt with his teams when he is needed.
He should never ask his teams to do something that he would not be willing to do on his own.
5) Work on your self-awareness
Self-awareness is the founding skill of emotional intelligence.
Any good self-respecting leader is lucid, has a clear and realistic image of his leadership and management style: he knows his strengths and weaknesses, he knows in which area he is more or less gifted, he has a real awareness of his abilities as well as his interpersonal skills.
The universal tendency, which we find in many people, without their being fully aware of it, is to judge oneself more favorably than that which one brings to others.
In other words, we have a tendency to consider that we are more capable of doing a job than others, that we work better than them, that we are more productive, etc …
The key to working on your self-awareness is to arrange periods of introspection, of questioning.
6) Stop treating your teams as you would like to be treated
The golden rule, very present in business, is that we treat others as we would like them to treat us.
It starts from the principle that to satisfy its teams, we should act with them as we would like our N + 1 to do with us.
But the validity of this rule comes up against a point neglected by everyone: not everyone has the same motivations, not everyone reacts to the same stimuli.
A true leader does not rely on his own personality to motivate his teams but learns to know his collaborators and to adapt his speech according to his interlocutor.
7) be passionate
Passion and enthusiasm are contagious, but so too are boredom, frustration, and negative energies!
No one wants to be bored at work, to do uninteresting tasks, to go to work reluctantly.
On the contrary, being boosted, interested in what we are doing motivates us and makes us want to surpass ourselves.
True leaders love their job, thrive in it, seek to share this positive energy with those around them.
They bring together, motivate, involve their teams, and give them the necessary means to flourish in their work.
8) inspire others
It is not enough to have a clear vision to be a good leader: you must also bring it to life, share it with your teams, and make them adhere to it.
No need to present unbelievable tables overflowing with figures all more obscure than the others, no need for a shy PowerPoint to support your remarks unless your goal is to put your audience to sleep.
To make your employees adhere to a corporate vision, you have to tell a story, speak the truth, explain where you are starting from and where the company wants to go, explain each person’s roles, make them see what they want. will feel once this vision is realized.
In short, you have to make your employees vibrate, let them appropriate this common vision rather than impose it, and only then will they feel sufficiently motivated and involved to go and win the moon.
9) be authentic
Authenticity is showing yourself to be true, just as you are, in all circumstances.
The words and actions of a genuine person are in line with who they are, their personality.
An authentic leader is open and transparent. He does what he says, says what he is, communicates without ulterior motive.
Without being perfect, he attracts the respect of all by matching his actions to his speech and his personality.
10) Always be accessible
True leaders are accessible people, even though they are N + 1, N + 2, N + 10 teams: they do not place themselves on pedestals, do not remain locked in their ivory tower.
They remain open to criticism (as long as this is constructive, of course), to questioning, to different points of view, and to new ideas.
They are well aware that when people are afraid to speak out, to say what is on their mind, it generates frustration and failure looms on the horizon.
By making themselves accessible, by keeping the door to their office open, by inviting dialogue, they encourage the circulation of ideas and information in their company.
11) Answer for your actions
A true leader is responsible, both for his actions and those of his teams: he should never seek to blame someone else or deny his responsibility in the face of failure.
Responding to your actions, taking responsibility for your words, your victories as well as your failures, and not seeking to point out a culprit when an error is made, allows you to gain the trust and respect of your teams.
Without confidence, no performance!
12) give meaning to your goals
Having a clear vision, sharing it with everyone, and getting your employees to adhere to it is not enough.
This vision must have meaning, we must take the time to explain the Why.
The question of “Why? »Is coming back more and more nowadays: we all seek to have a job that has meaning, that has a real purpose, that we can visualize, touch.
It’s all well and good to fill out beautiful Excel reporting tables, but what is the purpose?
What is the manager’s use for? The direction? The company?
How does this task make it possible to advance in the realization of the vision of the company, in the achievement of the objectives?
We all like to feel involved in what we do.
No, in fact, we NEED to feel involved, in something bigger, that is beyond us. We need to feel this feeling of belonging to a team, to feel that together we are stronger.
An effective leader knows how to communicate this feeling to his teams, knows how to assign them tasks that really make sense.
What you must remember
To be a good manager and to exercise a role of leader recognized by all can be innate for some, but it is above all something that can be learned, and especially maintained day after day.
The best leaders and managers rely on these 12 essential daily habits to develop their leadership.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and becoming a good leader doesn’t have to mean integrating all of these habits all at once.
Don’t be afraid to work them out one after the other, day after day.
Each step in the right direction will make you a little more effective, and develop your leadership a little more.
Over time, these habits will become instinctive.
What other habits could we add to this list, in your opinion?
Also published on Medium.