What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?

Steve Jobs, Good Leader

Leading a company to long-term success is no easy task. Many of those who have been doing it for years can still face challenges when it comes to effectively leading a team. Regardless of your industry, it's no secret that happy employees often yield the greatest results in business. So, how can you ensure your leadership has the most impact? Let's take a look at a few of the key attributes that great leaders share and have found successful.

"The only way to do great work is to love the work you do." ~Steve Jobs

One of today's most notable success business stories is Apple Computers. Many people can agree that almost everything they set out to do, they achieve successfully; it's hard to ignore the innovation they apply to all their products. But in a world inundated with technology companies, what makes them so different? One of the key factors is that Apple's leader Steve Jobs understood WHY his company set out to do what they do. It was his firm, unwavering belief in this dream that inspired the people around him to contribute their best work. Talent, passion, determination and belief in the reasons WHY your company does what it does will undeniably motivate your existing team, and will help attract the best candidates for you to incorporate into your vision for long term success.

"Great leaders have a heart for people. They take time for people. They view people as the bottom line, not as a tool to get to the bottom line." ~Pat Williams

Author & TEDTalk speaker Simon Sinek has been known to say that poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers, a logic that is categorically flawed. He goes on to say that when a family encounters financial challenges, you don't sacrifice the kids, you switch to cheaper cereal. In other words, your staff must be and always must remain your bottom line. Making this shift in your perspective can be a pivotal point in creating a company that feels more like a family and less like 'just a job'. Reminding your team regularly how important they each are individually speaks volumes. When a person feels they're sincerely valued, they will in turn value the company and their place in it.

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it." ~Andrew Carnegie

If you've ever played or even watched a sport, then you understand the importance of solid teamwork. A winning team is most often the one who wholeheartedly worked together using their talents, training and skills to achieve a singular result. They celebrate the team, not one player, when a win occurs. Similarly in business, a leader who is an active part of the team, as opposed to an uninvolved separate entity, will help create a valuable sense of unity and good morale in your company. When success is achieved, celebrate your team's contributions and remind your staff how integral their roles were in reaching the goal. The best leader understands and respects that he cannot do this alone.

At the end of the day, there are leaders and those who lead; the differences are simple, but significant.Understanding and applying some of these changes in your approach to all leadership roles can result in substantial changes in your company; changes that have the capacity to affect the success of your business, how well your team performs and ultimately, the way you all work together to succeed.