What Qualifies a True Leader? Five Instances

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  • 17 Jan 2024
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You've probably heard that poor managers, not bad firms, are the leading cause of employee turnover. This may appear to be a frightening warning, until you realize that the opposite is true. A complete 56% of professionals would turn down a little wage boost to continue working under a competent manager.

As a result, if you want to maintain your team, you must work on developing into a genuinely excellent leader. So, what characteristics, attitudes, and practices distinguish a genuine leader?

The question isn't as difficult to answer as it appears at first glance. The most regarded founders, CEOs, and managers tend to have certain characteristics. Here are some of the commonalities, as well as methods for you.


1. Authentic Leaders Hold Personal Values Sacred

Have you ever encountered a manager who professed to hold certain ideals holy yet consistently violated them? Perhaps it was a sales department VP who advocated honesty while lying to get clients' business. Perhaps a recruiter convinced you that your company's culture encouraged workers to take time for themselves—only to make you feel uncomfortable whenever you utilized your PTO.

It is difficult to have trust in these sorts of leaders since what they say and do might differ dramatically.

To avoid giving conflicting messages to coworkers and instilling distrust, put down at least five things you value. They might range from honesty and comedy to spirituality and selflessness.

At the conclusion of each day, evaluate how successfully you lived your ideals. Were you loyal to them? Remember that what makes a genuine leader is being honest to yourself, even when you don’t like the answers.

Falling short today does not make you a bad person. It's an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ideals tomorrow.

2. Authentic Leaders Show Vulnerability

Many people believe that being in control requires you to be as harsh as nails. To be sure, a "line in the sand" mindset might be beneficial in certain circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Brené Brown, a thought leader and author, has dedicated her career to helping professionals understand and accept vulnerability.

Consider the concept of serving as your organization's knowledge repository. Trying to be the all-knowing boss creates a barrier between you and your staff. Brown adds that needing to be the 'knower' or always being correct is heavy armor.

Can it be difficult to disclose to people that you need their assistance or insights? Is it difficult to admit that you've made the incorrect decision or that you're scared about the future? Of course. You are human.

Still, leading from your humanity rather than attempting to be an omniscient dictator is what distinguishes a true leader. Walking about with your "guard up" all the time reduces the ties you may form with team members.

3. Authentic Leaders Have a Thirst for Knowledge

You may not be the smartest person in the room, but you may definitely be the most well-read. Picking up a book is an excellent first step in becoming a more knowledgeable leader.

Some of the world's most well-known corporate and political personalities are avid readers. Why? They understand that reading makes you a better communicator, speaker, and goal setter.

Examine your schedule closely. Do you take aside time to learn? Even if you don't read every night, you can listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Alternatively, you might enroll in a self-directed course to learn about yourself while also improving your professional skills. Make sure to share what you discover with your colleagues and encourage them to enjoy learning, too.

In the future, you may wish to start a company-sponsored book club to develop friendship, cooperation, and creativity.

4. Authentic Leaders Are Eager to Listen

When one of your employees approaches you, do you listen because you have to or want to? The difference is significant.

Leaders who listen out of obligation are more concerned with resolving the issue. However, leaders who listen because they want to are really engaged in assisting their staff. Why? Helping someone solve a problem can have long-term benefits. After all, you could face a similar issue later.

There's no denying that it might be difficult to relax and concentrate when team members want your attention. According to studies, most people forget 50% of what they hear within seconds of hearing it.

So, the next time someone requests for your attention, practice active listening skills. Put your gadgets away. Look into the other person's eyes. Reiterate crucial topics to ensure you comprehend. Take notes if appropriate. Of course, follow up later and always deliver on your promises if you offer to help with the situation.

5. Authentic Leaders Take Care of Themselves

More than 75% of professionals report to having experienced burnout. As a leader, you cannot afford to allow yourself to reach the point of complete exhaustion. If you do, you will be ineffective and may even harm your business. This implies you must set aside time for yourself, just as other effective leaders do.

When you start putting your health and wellness first, you will see a lot of great things happen. According to research, you'll sleep better and feel more calm, allowing you to absorb information more effectively. Though it might be difficult to quit working extra hours or ignoring yourself in favor of your career, you owe it to yourself to try.

Understanding What Makes an Authentic Leader Gets You Closer to Being One

Now that you understand what constitutes an authentic leader, you can begin to develop new qualities and behaviors in your daily life.

With time and effort, you will become a more trustworthy and dependable leader. And you'll have an exceptionally dedicated, engaged workforce to show you're on the correct track.


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