1. Make Others Feel Safe to Speak-Up
Successful leaders deflect attention away from themselves and encourage others to voice their opinions. They are experts at making others feel safe by using their executive presence to create an approachable environment.
2. Make Decisions
Successful leaders are expert decision makers; they either facilitate the dialogue to empower their colleagues or they jsut make the decision themselves. Successful leaders don’t waste their time on issues that disrupt momentum and have a 'make things happen' kind of focus.
3. Communicate Expectations
Successful leaders are great communicators, this is especially true when it comes to “performance expectations.” In doing so, they remind their colleagues of the organization’s core values and mission statement – ensuring that their vision is properly translated and actionable objectives are properly executed.
4. Challenge People to Think
The most successful leaders have a great understanding of the mindsets, capabilities and areas for improvement of those around them. They use this insight to challenge others to think and to reach for more. Doing this keeps their people on their toes by never allowing them to get comfortable and always providing them with tools to facilitate growth.
5. Be Accountable to Others
Successful leaders allow their colleagues to manage them. This doesn’t mean they are allowing others to control them – but rather becoming accountable to assure they are being proactive to their colleagues needs. Allowing colleagues to hold them accountable is a sign that your leader is focused more on everyone's success rather than just their own.
6. Lead by Example
Leading by example sounds easy, but few leaders are consistent with this one. Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions.
7. Measure & Reward Performance
Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on business performance and those people who are the performance champions. Not only do they review the numbers and measure performance ROI, they are active in acknowledging hard work and efforts (no matter the result). Successful leaders never take consistent performers for granted and are mindful of rewarding them.
8. Provide Continuous Feedback
Successful leaders always provide feedback and they welcome reciprocal feedback by creating trustworthy relationships with their colleagues. They understand the power of perspective and have learned the importance of feedback early on in their career.
9. Properly Allocate and Deploy Talent
Successful leaders know their talent pool and how to use it. They are experts at activating the capabilities of their colleagues and knowing when to deploy their unique skill sets given the circumstances at hand.
10. Ask Questions, Seek Counsel
Successful leaders ask questions and seek counsel all the time. From the outside, they appear to 'know it all', – yet they too have a thirst for knowledge and strive to learn things. They understand the benefit of learning from others.
11. Problem Solve; Avoid Procrastination
Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand. They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them).
12. Positive Energy & Attitude
Successful leaders create a positive and inspiring workplace culture. They know how to set the tone and bring an attitude that motivates their colleagues to take action. As such, they are likeable, respected and strong willed.
13. Be a Great Teacher
Successful leaders never stop teaching because they are motivated to learn themselves. They take the time to mentor their colleagues and make the investment to sponsor those who have proven they are able and eager to advance.
14. Invest in Relationships
Successful leaders don’t focus on protecting their domain – instead they expand it by investing in mutually beneficial relationships. They care for not only their own advancement, but that of others.
Leaders share the harvest of their success to help build momentum for those around them.
15. Genuinely Enjoy Responsibilities
Successful leaders love being leaders – not for the sake of power but for the meaningful and purposeful impact they can create. At a point it becomes about your ability to serve others and this can’t be accomplished unless you genuinely enjoy what you do.
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