In today’s business world, becoming an effective and successful leader requires skill building in areas such as integrity, empathy, and the setting of healthy personal boundaries. Fortunately, learning to strengthen skills in these areas is something that anyone can do with enough effort; it may require time and hard work to master leadership skills, it is true, but the results can be truly life-changing. Here are just a few of the qualities that set successful leaders apart from the pack, and why they matter more than ever.
Great leaders admit when they’re wrong
Anyone who has had a manager who refuses to own up to their mistakes knows that an irresponsible leader quickly sinks company morale. Being an effective leader doesn’t just mean keeping one’s word when times are tough, and deadlines are looming, it also means admitting when one has chosen the wrong course of action. Without taking personal responsibility for mistakes, there is little guarantee that the same problems will not arise again and again in the future, and that is an outcome that can spell disaster for a business. Indeed, to be a truly successful leader in the long term, a sense of personal responsibility is a must-have skill.
Great leaders don’t confuse being nice with being a pushover
Unable to cope with the idea of being disliked, some leaders want to accommodate the demands of everyone they meet, despite the fact that their need to please others may be undermining their ability to lead effectively. Focused on being the office “nice guy,” these leaders too often burn themselves out by taking personal responsibility for making everyone around them happy. While kindness is an essential quality of effective leadership, it’s important to recognize the difference between caring about others and becoming their personal doormat.
Great leaders empathize with employees
As anyone who has seen the negative effect of a high employee turnover rate on a company’s reputation, employee satisfaction isn’t just about making a good salary or negotiating a competitive benefits package. Without empathetic leaders, simply put, a workplace becomes a toxic place for everyone involved. Just as being a pushover is a detrimental quality in a leader, a manager who does not empathize with their employees will often push talented workers towards better opportunities at other companies. For these reasons, knowing the difference between setting healthy boundaries and setting impossibly rigid boundaries is an essential skill for a truly successful leader.
While it can feel intimidating to begin the path towards mastery of interpersonal and leadership skills, the truth is that top-notch communication abilities in business can be developed with time and dedication. Becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight, but fortunately, the personal rewards of a journey towards becoming a great leader are more than worth the effort. For those willing to take the high road towards business success, that is life at its best!