Managers all around the world are now expected to embody all the characteristics of leaders in their official duties. Leadership is not just a character trait for the CEOs and founders in fact it is now demanded from every person in a position of power.
Leadership in practice entails using one's skills, knowledge, and experience to inspire and guide a group of people toward a common goal or vision. It involves making decisions, setting objectives, communicating effectively, and motivating and empowering others to achieve the desired outcomes. A leader always leads by example rather than mere dictation of what they require their team to achieve.
There's a huge difference between dictators and leaders and people in power need to understand this difference to guide better and lead better. Leadership in practice, therefore, amounts to a number of practices incorporated into the daily life of a manager, teacher, CEO, founder, and other persons in power.
According to Dalai Lama, leadership requires a genuine concern for the wellness of others. He pointed out three qualities that every leader should embody to become a true leader who inspires everyone in his/her stride. These qualities include mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion.
Moreover, leadership in practice is guided by a lot of skills that help guide a team effectively. It involves building relationships, fostering a positive team culture, and being able to adapt to changing circumstances. Leaders need to be good listeners so that they can provide constructive feedback and support their team members in achieving their individual goals and objectives.
Following are the top 8 leadership qualities every leader should adopt to foster a positive work culture.
1. Mentor Thoughtfully: Thoughtful mentoring means guiding and supporting the people under your management to perform to the best of their abilities. It involves honing people's skills and talents and giving them the room to perform and shine through their work.
2. Foster Healthy Relationships Instead Of Competitiveness: Leaders don’t promote competitiveness and a spirit of jealousy among their team. Instead, they individually highlight and use every single person’s strengths to drive profitable results.
Leaders always keep a healthy relationship with the people they manage in order to inspire them to perform better every single day.
3. Take Chances And Make Wise Decisions: Leaders always think out of the box and are known to take unconventional decisions and once they make a decision they stand by it no matter what happens. The decision-making powers of a leader need to be staunch and they should make smart and calculated decisions that are the most beneficial.
4. Stand Behind Your Team, Through Thick And Thin: Leaders are known for their selflessness and their ability to support the people they lead through thick and thin. Leaders don't shy away from taking risks or making mistakes. Therefore, they come with big hearts and own their mistakes, and inculcate the same in the people they mentor. This empowers everyone to foster a productive, safe, and healthy work culture.
5. Offer Constructive Criticism: Leaders offer real-time feedback to the people they are leading and offer constructive criticism which will help them perform better and understand where they are lacking.
6. Do Not Bash People Or Be Unkind: Leaders are people who do not bash or be mean to the people below them just because they have less power. Instead, leaders show motherly care and nurture their team to perform better, overcome their shortcomings and perform to the best of their abilities.
7. Trust Your Team: Leaders show a lot of trust in their team as they understand that everybody has their own skill set according to which they will perform and produce the desired outcomes.
8. Do Not Be A Micromanager: Leaders are not micromanagers who nitpick every flaw of the people they are leading, instead, they are mentors who offer clear guidance and then show trust in their pupils to perform well.
Lastly, leadership in practice means employing all these and many more characteristics in your everyday situations to create a conducive environment of growth for everyone working under your management and mentorship. Leaders have to embody the utmost patience and tolerance to lead and adapt to the qualities and characteristics of the many kinds of people they come across. Last but not the least, the most significant and essential quality of leadership is that leaders lead by example. They walk the talk and show people through their actions how to be more tolerant, forgiving, and accepting of people and their performance.
Shahid Hanif is CTO and Founded Shufti Pro Ltd - A biometric identity verification solution in 2017 which is now in being used in more than 225 countries and territories by small business, large enterprises, banks, FinTech companies and online retailers. Prior to this I worked as a CTO of Quickbit.eu (Publ.) where me and my team developed this from the first line of code to a successful IPO.