According to vocabulary.com, a leader is the one in the charge and the person who convinces other people to follow. But they define a great leader as one inspires confidence in other people and moves them to action. There are many ways to define a great leader — just ask Entrepreneur, Inc. and Forbes! Below is a short list what being a great leader means to me.
A great leader is accountable for their actions.
When something goes wrong, great leaders take responsibility for everyone’s actions by putting it upon themselves for the company’s failure, and they don’t put the blame on anyone else. To alleviate the problem, leaders jump in with their subordinates to help find a solution and get business back on track as soon as possible. Even when business is smooth sailing, great leaders give praise when it’s appropriate, look for ways to improve their company, and consistently check on their employees to see there are any small issues that can be addressed before it becomes a bigger problem.
A great leader believes honesty is the best policy.
Leaders who are ethical and honest with their subordinates believe in the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Leaders want the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from their employees, regardless if it’s good or bad news. Leaders set the standards by being completely honest and ethical with everyone so their employees will reciprocate the gesture. By building a relationship based on trust, openness, and ethics, great leaders believe honesty is the best policy.
A great leader is empathetic to their employees.
Great leaders keep the thoughts and feelings of their employees in the back of their mind, and are understanding to their employees when personal or family emergencies arise. If an employee’s work performance suffers because of an external factor, great leaders may privately inquire about the employee’s personal life, and are often supportive.
A great leader sets clear guidelines.
Nothing is worse than a leader who doesn’t set clear expectations — it sends their employees into a frenzy! A great leader sets guidelines from day one, follows through with said guidelines, clearly communicates what they expect, sets deadlines, and doesn’t give anyone special treatment. Clear guidelines will minimize frustration and confusion among employees, and they will feel more at ease and confidently do their jobs. Clarity is the pathway to solid results.
A great leader is approachable.
Everyone has different communication styles. Some employees come from a different cultural background and their people skills might be different than what you’re used to. Some employees might not speak your language as fluently, and therefore have difficulty understanding workplace expectations. Some employees may have different personality than you. Some employees may respond well to a certain leadership style, while others may not and feel pressured. Regardless of the differences, a great leader is approachable and shows flexibility. Leaders who adopt the “door is always open” policy are viewed at the most approachable leaders.
How do you define a great leader?