In times of stress and despair, a person can either rise to the occasion, smiting the problem with the fist of an angry god, or cower in fear clumsily like an elephant who sees a rat. A good leader will take charge of the situation, and help all others overcome reservations along with it. He or she will also see to it that a problem like the one at hand is prevented, or at least handled properly next time. There is no end to the benefits and rewards of being a good leader.
However, not everybody is born a leader. Some start out complacent, but eventually live and learn to be able to lead. Some pick it up naturally while others have always simply had it in them from the beginning. You can’t always teach a person to be a good leader, but you can definitely try. The process of becoming a leader can have different results on a varying amount of people, but it will be almost always be worth the effort to give it a shot.
What Makes a Good Leader?
A good leader is capable of inspiring others to follow a cause both willingly and with vigor. A strong sense of confidence and good example are also qualities that a good leader can inspire to his or her followers. This is where leading by example can benefit the most; your primary goal is for your work force to be diligent, organized and hard working. A leader must live up to his or her own standards or ideals. That said, if you are seen slacking off or backsliding on your work, then your workers will think it is okay to be less productive. Don’t make your work force do something you wouldn’t do yourself.
Humble and reserved, a good leader exhibits a cool head needed to lead. A sense of humility can encourage workers to great lengths. This humility can also gain a good amount of respect from your work force, as an inflated ego is a lot harder to give respect to. Instead of pompously asserting yourself, try to use certain principles constantly stressed to your work force. A good leader who embodies humility can be particularly inspiring.
A leader is nothing without his followers. A good leader is always appreciative for the work force on hand, never underestimating the importance of offering undying gratitude to those who are try hard at work. Every person longs to be appreciated, and when it is received, the person will feel more inspired to work towards the right thing. However, appreciation need not devolve into flattery, and must always be genuine and given whereever due.
A good leader often has a clear vision of what he or she wishes to accomplish. Sometimes the resistance to change is something to be overcome if one wishes to lead, because if your work force has been doing something the same way for a long period of time, then they may have gotten used to having a deep embedded aversion to fresh, new ideas. To be able to inspire change and evolution in your work force, a good leader must believe in progress and change himself. Your belief in your own vision for change can be something your work force will pick up on later.
However, a willingness to change may lead into people criticizing your approach. It may be best to discuss things like friends or colleagues rather than debate and argue like enemies. Constructive criticism is instumental for progress, but when criticism turns into insult and argument, simply focus on how much you want the new approach to work. The need to defend yourself is sometimes outweighed by the need to look forward on things, giving your vision a certain nobility.
Sometimes when an argument cannot be dismissed entirely, it can be a good option to sit down and listen to the people making it. Sometimes the reasons behind criticism can be rational and reasonable, making listening to what your followers have to say worthwhile. A good leader will often feel that he is more of a teammate than the team leader. Your workers and followers will oftentimes have good opinions and ideas despite giving off criticism from time to time. Even the most unworkable ideas can be worth giving a listen to, as a good leader values his or her worker’s opinions regardless or not if they are useful.
A friendly, approachable aura should be a quality of a good leader. History has proven that leaders who lead by instilling fear, oppression and violence on a group of workers results in catastrophic failure. Don’t be afraid to open up to your followers at all: Workers who feel that a leader can relate to them will often set a more comfortable and productive workplace, and become happier and easier to work with in the long term.
An aura of approachability can also be achieved when the leader does not take himself too seriously. A good leader will never be afraid to swallow pride and admit he or she is wrong, even in the most dire of situations. The leader will be able to joke around at his or her own expense without feeling bad, and can help gain the appreciation of the work force. People will naturally appreciate people who admit mistakes, but it is still important to assert that the leader is still the leader of the work force.