What Makes a Great Leader?

When you ask the question, “What makes a great leader?” you will receive a wide range of answers. One of the most common misbeliefs is that to be a great leader, you must know the answer to everything or “be the smartest person in the room.” In reality, taking a leadership position with that mindset can be detrimental to both your team and the organization as a whole. As Brigette Hyacinth, author of The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, states, leaders who believe they are the smartest person in the room do not allow their employees to grow or develop. This quickly leads to micromanaging.

The Problem With Micromanaging

Hyacinth explains that a micromanaging leader does not show trust in their employees and they prefer to have a level of control over all activities, no matter how small. While this may be perceived to produce great results, these “results” are only short-term. In the long-term, micromanaging has numerous harmful affects, including:

  1. Decreased productivity
  2. Reduced creativity and innovation
  3. Low office morale
  4. High turnover rates
  5. Loss of trust

The True Meaning of a Great Leader

True leadership is not about the title or the authority, and it is not about being the smartest or the best. Leaders have many roles and various job descriptions, and a great leader works to fulfill them all:

  1. Build a diverse team of individuals, all with their own unique strengths and weaknesses.
  2. View each individual’s strengths and knowledge as an asset and a complement to your own personal weaknesses.
  3. Lead by example to create a positive and inclusive work culture.
  4. Set your team up for success by creating a strong foundation and providing all the necessary tools they need to get their job done as efficiently as possible.
  5. Improve engagement and productivity by encouraging team members to share their ideas, give feedback, and voice their opinions.
  6. Encourage healthy habits, promote wellbeing, and make the importance of work-life balance clear.
  7. Help your team reach their full potential by tapping into what motivates each individual and providing opportunities for them to grow and develop.
  8. Create a sense of purpose by communicating a clear vision and encouraging creativity and innovation.
  9. Empower individuals by providing autonomy, showing appreciation, and giving recognition.
  10. Last but not least, focus on creating more leaders, not just followers.

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