What qualities make a great leader?
I believe we all have an “IT” factor but in order to become sought after and effective leaders we need to define, UNCOVER and step into it. You’re ready to step up into leadership IF …
You can define and articulate your value.
Your “IT” factor is shaped mostly on you being congruent with your personal values and the values you live by. If you value creativity, do you bring that value to all of the work you do? If one of the values you live by is honesty, do you exemplify that in your workplace?
I like to say that people can “smell” when you are incongruent. People who are living congruently come off as genuine, trustworthy and valuable. Which makes them excellent leaders. Leaders know and own their value and have the confidence to share their value proposition, at performance reviews and in casual water cooler conversations without fear of sounding “braggy.”
People often come to you for advice and your opinion
Don’t confuse this with people coming to you to complain or gossip. A good leader should never ever engage in office drama. But if you often find yourself at the receiving end of the sentence “Let me run something by you,” that’s an indication that people trust your judgement and value your opinion. Take note of all the advice and opinions you’ve share and how they may have impacted the workplace.
You are trusted with important and challenging projects and deadlines
Do you find yourself being asked to take on more and more responsibility? Instead of whining and complaining that it’s not fair, start compiling a list of your accomplishments and look around for opportunities that are a good fit and raise your hand for them. Dependability and accountability are important leadership traits. If you are the type of person who does what you say, shows up when you say you will and over-delivers, that’s a huge feather in your “IT” factor cap but it’s important that you avoid being taken advantage of!
You can motivate and communicate with diverse colleagues.
“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” -James C. Humes.
People come in all shapes and sizes and have incredibly different ways of communicating. If you find it relatively easy to understand and engage with different communication styles, different age groups, and people from different backgrounds, I feel that it’s your duty to step into a leadership position.
You care more about moving forward than being right
Just because you can engage and communicate with all types, doesn’t mean you’re always going to agree. But if you know how to keep the end goal in mind and let go of a desire to be right ‘cause you’re the boss, you’ll be the type of leader that might actually get things done.
I have a whole chapter in my book, Standing Ovation Presentations, (Motivational Press, 2013) called Value – the “IT” Factor. Buy the book or download the chapter and go take the lead!