Good leaders are a myth. Don't take me wrong, I'm talking about everyone. To even take up a leadership role, you must be able to lead yourself. If you're not able to do so, then this job isn't for you. Let me give you an example. How are you going to persuade your customers to buy a product, when you're not convinced yourself whether you want to buy it? Aside that, let's move on to the next level. When you're finally able to take up a leadership role, there are several things you would want to look out for. I'll stick with 5 for now, since it'll be easier to remember things when you have 5 fingers.
The first trait I'd like to talk about is being responsible. Because without this trait, one can forget about breaking the myth I set. Ironically, there are many people in this world that wants to be a leader, but at the same time, they don't. The reason's very simple: if you succeed, you get fame, money etc. However, if you do not, you get blamed for it, because you are the LEADER. Once you're able to face this reality, you're able to move on to the next trait.
The second trait here is very obvious; dedication. After picking up that leadership status, you must be strong enough BOTH mentally and physically to complete the task. Why? The logic is simple. If you're not dedicated to your task/work, why should your members be? A very good example would be a group project due one week later. If the leader does not delegate, assist and lead the team efficiently, no one will bother to work. So, when you pick up these two basic traits, it's time to pursue the aesthetics.
The third trait is openness, and what do I mean by that? To be able to accept criticism and suggestions. Active LISTENING is a significant thing you can do that will earn you respect and credibility. One of a tasks a leader have to complete is involve everyone in the team, because you'll never know that, one of them may hold the key to your success.
The fourth trait is creativity, and to be original. Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. It also gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. This can mean anything, from coming up with a solution to cracking a joke in tough times. Sense of humour is also a good characteristic to posses. Humour is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. Most importantly, one can use humour to energize followers.
The last and final trait is the art of persuasion. You've seen leaders who lead a country to success, you've also seen leaders who lead such huge army to war. However, have you thought of what made them so successful? They were able to persuade effectively, and gain the trust of their followers. You might not have a honey tongue or a dictionary in your head, but your choice of words, poise, tone etc are factors in the art of persuasion. Here are a few tips in helping you persuade more effectively:
- Relevance: Persuasive messages should be personally relevant to the audience. If not, they will switch off and fail to process it.
- Universal goals: In creating your message, understand the three universal goals for which everyone is aiming: affiliation, accuracy and positive self-concept.
- Avoid forewarning: NEVER open up a speech saying "I will try and persuade you that…" If you do, people start generating counter-arguments and are less likely to be persuaded.
- Repetition: Whether or not a statement is true, repeating it a few times gives the all-important illusion of truth. The illusion of truth leads to the reality of persuasion.
- Social proof: You've heard it before and you'll hear it again - despite all their protestations of individuality, people love conformity. So tell them which way the flock is going because people want to be in the majority.
- Positively framed: Messages with a positive frame are always more persuasive.
- Confidence: Not only your confidence, but theirs. The audience should feel confident about attitude change. Audience confidence in their own thoughts is boosted by a credible source and when they feel happy.
Now that you've read through what I've said, do you still believe in a good leader? We are all a leader of our own, be it at Microsoft or at a coffee shop stall. It is how we carry out our jobs as a leader that defines us from the rest.
How do you think a good leader manages crisis under stressful situations?
To me, to manage under stressful situation is a very daunting task. However, if you'd follow these steps, it might help a little.
Step 1 - STAY CLAM. Never let that little boy in you take over your emotions.
Step 2 - Think what went wrong. This will help you to reflect.
Step 3 - Plan. Whenever you hear from a friend that they fell out in a relationship, they always seem to brood over it. However, you should not do that and move on. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into lessons.
Step 4 - Crack a joke. At this point of time, everyone is stressed out. Make them feel that they're still in the team and are worthy too.