Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have a few common denominators.
By Ken Sundheim
The most effective leaders are the individuals who can transform a good firm into a great company. They are the people who continually push their subordinates to become better, more engaged employees and allow them to adapt to changes in the corporate landscape.
Instead of suppressing new ideas and ignoring innovation, they encourage creative thinking, open collaboration and individual growth. They reward the employees who deserve recognition instead of promoting the “yes men” who simply agree with them.
Regardless of industry or company size, studies have shown that the best bosses share common traits that lead to consistent success. Below, you’ll find five of these qualities.
1. An understanding of how to create a work environment conducive to building self-confidence. First-rate bosses don’t allow their subordinates to blame circumstances or environment for their failures.
They maintain an energy that is optimistic and focus on possibilities rather than problems. This “can-do” outlook becomes contagious. As a result, employee motivation and confidence continually increase, and so does everyone’s success rate.
2. Fanatic discipline. The best bosses set performance benchmarks that are high, but attainable for the employees at the company as well as themselves. They pursue these achievements relentlessly, regardless of whether they must work around the clock to meet those goals.
Top-performing bosses do not allow intimidation or harsh business environments to dictate their business approach. They are unwavering in their quest to preserve profitability and prevent bad habits from forming within the group.
3. Consistency. One of the surest ways to have a successful team is to give them a goal and stick to that. The most effective leaders aren't constantly changing the target on their sales team unnecessarily.
When a manager comes to the table with a clear plan and goal, and follows through on it, those under him or her are able to stay motivated both day to day, and over the long-term.
4. Strength. In business leadership, strength is about giving others compelling evidence that you can get things done to the benefit of those around you. The best bosses project that ability to get things done, so their employees look to them for advice.
At the same time, strength in leadership is not about being popular or well-liked: it's about being a source of insight and action.
5. Strong loyalty to the company and those within the organization. If the worst bosses are stereotypically those who are only out for #1, then it follows that the best bosses have a genuine investment in the well-being of those around them.
This is true on an individual level, a team level, and an organizational level. Rather than focusing on external trappings or personal gain at the expense of the team, the best bosses keep their focus both upstream to the organization as a whole, and downstream to the team under them.
In the end
When you work for a top-tier manager, you are rewarded for performance rather than shown favoritism. You grow both personally and professionally while working under them. They give your position more meaning and your job becomes less of a job and more of a passion.
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Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Recruiters, an executive search firm based out of New York City specializing in sales and marketing recruitment of all levels. Follow Ken on Twitter at @Ken_Sundheim and through his blog.