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Be a good strong leader

What Makes a Good Leader

Men, you are being called to lead. Even when you don’t think you are a leader. People are looking for your direction and influence. Your leadership skills may not be military oriented or as the leader of the free world but you do have the opportunity to lead and lead effectively.

From kids and pets to your boss seeing something in you. We all have a little bit of leader in us and sadly we don’t see that leader in ourselves. This leads to us guy either not being a good leader or even worse we self-sabotage and send ourselves back to our old position. Hating our old level even more or even detest the very leadership you were once awarded.

Often bad leadership is caused by someone who points blame on others. They often also have a scarcity mindset. These folks think that their subordinates are out to take their position away and fight to keep it. They often don’t see the opportunities that abound if they were to loosen their grip. The rewards the can come about if they were to nurture leadership in other people.

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Qualities in a Good Leader

So what qualities are found in a good leader? If bad leaders pass blame and stifle creativity. They like to micromanage then the opposite is true of a good leader.

Though they do not know it all they have the confidence to gather the information they need. Confident leaders ask questions. Those questions are not limited to just the managers but the staff as well. That secretary may have some insight that is important to the person who is in the leadership role.

Build and Mentor New Leaders

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Photo by Jordan Opel on Unsplash

Many of the best leaders around have an abundance mentality. They do not see new people as a threat. They see an opportunity for new leaders. This is because scarcity mindsets are dangerous to not only a person but o an organization too.

We have all heard, “misery loves company” and a leader who is miserable with the negative mindset of scarcity is leading his followers into a world where there is not enough of anything. This causes people to fight with each other. The quality of work drops because the employees are fighting over what they don’t have instead of what they are able to create.

While confident leaders who have an abundance mentality attract the highest quality employees. The turn over is low to almost nonexistent because the employees see a future. Abundant leaders show others that they can lead too. These types of leaders want more leaders. The confident leader likes to share their knowledge because they don’t see the employees as a potential threat to their security. Confident Leaders see employees as potential leaders that will help make the company as a whole stronger.

Not afraid to get in the trenches

Want to know the fastest way to earn the respect of your team? Help them win their work. When there is a crunch time and people are stressed a leader who is not put out by rolling up the shirt sleeves and jumping in does more for the morale of the group than any speech or platitudes of encouragement could even do.

Leaders have different responsibilities. So we know a leader isn’t able to be in the mix all the time. To use a sports analogy, You don’t want the quarterback to get dirty. If that is happening then you know the line is not doing their job. That is when the leadership is failing when the other team is taking down your quarterback. Yet there are times the quarterback needs to run the play.

Real leaders aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Mary Kay Ash

Willing to do what he asks his men

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Let me tell you the story of Jim. Jim runs a successful company. His managers take care of the day to day operations. The employees as a whole are very happy with the direction the company is going. The men and women happily do what is asked.

It is not uncommon for Jim to walk around and talk to everybody. One reason people like Jim so much is that he is just as likely to carry out the trash or help turn a wrench as he is to make an executive decision. Jim has no problem jumping into a truck and driving to a location. He did that for years when his company was a scrappy little company with just 6 trucks. Now he has a fleet of 20 though he doesn’t have to change out belly lines he will get on the ground and hold one while his employee tightens a clamp.

A confident leader will lead by example when it is needed. Now a leader who micromanages and does all the work himself is not leading. Yet a leader who is willing to get his hands dirty and run the risk of ruining a good shirt will go far on being an effective leader.

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Have a clear vision

Do you know where you are going? Do you know where you are taking your followers? It is good to know where you are going. It is a sign of a confident leader when you can convey his vision to others.

If you can effectively share your vision for your company or effectively share what your objective is you will go a long way in helping your employees realize what they can do to help the objective be reached.

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” –Seth Godin

A leader who hides that objective and doesn’t share will often have his “troops” going 30 different directions. They are like a magnifying glass that is not focused. They are not doing much good. The moment the focus is on one point, or objective it can start a blaze of success.

Know how to motivate people without force

Do you work for a guy who was an ineffective boss? I have several times. I have known guys who in a fit of frustration use their position as a weapon. They say things like you are not the boss here. You are not a manager. They are always telling the underlings what they are not. This is another sign of a scarcity mindset but also They are having to try to motivate a person by force. You either do what I say or you are fired!

That is a way to motivate someone, but it isn’t a very good way. Motivating people without force is a skill that is tough to master. The reason is that it is a form of selling, and when you join this sell with the clear direction you can motivate most people.

Leadership Skills

There are so many different skills it takes when you are a confident leader. There are a few that I really wanted to talk about because they are the most important in my view.

Passion

Passion is the currency of leadership. If you don’t have any passion for what you are doing you are not going to want to do it. Eve3n worse you are not going to be able to effectively convince your followers to go on the journey with you. The Passion is what is needed to trade to earn dedication from a person. Many times people will follow someone just because of how much passion someone is able to convey to the audience.

When passion is shared it is is a value that doubles and improves everybody involved. You share your passion with someone, They, in turn, take that passion and share it. That passion then motivates people to follow you.

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Courage

There are times when leading you are going to venture into unknown territory. There are lots of choices and decisions you will have to make. You will be unsure of yourself. Maybe even your confidence in your self will be tested and possibly falter. Yet, if you have the courage to face the problem head on you can tackle and defeat the problems at hand.

Courage is often the defining skill a leader needs. Are they willing to go the extra mile to get the desired outcome? Martin Luther King Jr. was a prime example of leading people his message still rings today to judge a person by their character, not their skin color. He believed in his vision with so much courage knowing that he was upsetting the applecart. This caused him to lose his life. There are many leaders throughout history who have stood courageously for what they believed in.

Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk – especially in new undertakings.
Walt Disney 

Humility

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Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Humility is one of those traits that help people endure their leader. Prideful people always seem to put people off from wanting to follow. Though humble leaders can often be unassuming they should never be underestimated.

Being humble is a tough trait to keep when you are an effective leader. There is a reason the pride is a deadly sin. It can cause people to lose their way. Though I will say having pride in what you do and pride in your vision is good. When you think it is all your doing that is when pride becomes a hindrance.

Humble leaders have often gone to make great advancements. Take Mother Teresa and Gandhi both were able to make huge changes in their vision. While managing to stay humble.

Decisiveness

Hmm, should you or should you not? The lack of this skill can break any leadership. I firmly believe this skill is the most important to a leader. Yes, they have to be able to convey their vision with passion and stand by that objective with courage. Yet, If the leader becomes indecisive then his followers will start to lose faith that he knows what he is doing.

Passion may be the attractor of a leader, his ability to make a decision and see it through to the end is the cement to the fellowship. If he chooses wrong, he knows it is wrong and communicates why the choice is being altered. The key is to stick to his guns. Especially when times get tough. If he falters at the crucial point that is when a mutiny can happen.

Communication

Can you talk about what your plans are? You may have passion and it will go a long way in helping you draw employees and followers to your cause. If you can’t or won’t communicate what is happening, then people start making up their own stories and chaos starts to worm its way into the organization.

This is why there is a State of the Union Address each year done by our president. This is his time to convey what is happening in the country. He is sharing his vision of what he wants to accomplish. This is part of being a leader.

For any institution out there communication is crucial. No matter if it is a Fortune 10 company or a  marriage. You have to talk to everyone else. Communication is a lot like a lubricant for the group. Without it, ideas start to corrode and wear out. So if you don’t know how to effectively communicate there are plenty of books that will help you learn how to effectively communicate your ideas.

A few Good examples are

Made To Stick by Chip Heath

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone

And that is far from a start on the list of books on effective communication but it is a step in the right direction

Humor

Though not required to be a good leader it does help. If you are able to find levity in a dark time it goes a long way to rally the troops. I remember the first time I had a supervisor crack a joke with me. It surprised me because I really didn’t know how to react. I never saw a someone in a superior position joke before. It was a shock and gave me a sense of connection with the owner of that particular company.

Humor binds people together. Especially for men. We use humor as a mean of bonding. We joke and rib each other as a means of saying you are alright. So when a leader is able to joke and cut loose with his employees it shows them that you are human.

Above All Else, Don’t be a Boss

As kids what did we often tell each other, “YOu are not the boss of me!” Or we may call someone trying to boss us around bossy britches, or just plain being bossy. As Boss is someone who cants lead effectively. They often have a scarcity mindset. A boss is someone who has to throw their authority around get respect instead of earning it.

Leading is just that you lead you direct. While a boss controls the whole situation. You didn’t like being bossed around when you were 7 years old and I don’t know anybody who likes to be bossed around now. So decide to not be somebody’s boss and be a leader instead.

If you like this please share it with your community so they can become confident leaders too.

Featured Photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

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