“Anyone who works in a management role is a leader, but not everyone in such a role displays true leadership,” says Amizur Nachshoni. “Think of leadership as handling the next step,” he continues, “to become well rounded and highly effective, the best leaders take their professional management skills and combine them with the people skills. The difference between being a good and a great leader is in the relationships that you are creating with your team.”
Here are the four cornerstones of great leadership:
1. Coach, never direct
A great leader is a mentor and a trainer, not a tyrant. They help develop and grow their teams and support them by providing training in different forms, including coaching and mentoring. We understand when to manage their teams, and when to drive them. It’s about finding the balance between giving up too much control and being too controlling.
To be a great coach, you have to realize that there are different requirements for everyone and that there is no one size fits all solution. Learn how best to work with your team members, and tailor your coaching to suit their work style.
2. Knowledgeable & Skilled
Great leaders are ready to change at any given time. They can easily think and make decisions. As a leader, both from a process standpoint and from a people standpoint, you have to be very aware of everything that is happening. Amizur Nachshoni suggests that it’s important to pay equal attention to both. You will be better able to keep the process on track by ensuring that your team performs to the best of their abilities. If you ignore one, then the other is going to suffer.
Respect is a two-way street. Great leaders understand this concept and show respect through trust in their team. No employee likes to be micromanaged, as it tells them you don’t trust their skills. It’s, in fact, one of the fastest ways to lose respect. Leaders must allow risks to be taken by their employees and accept that they sometimes fail.
4. Being a Communicator
Great leaders may adapt their style of communication to suit the needs of any situation. A leader has to be an outstanding listener, to fully consider their team’s needs. Great leaders understand that different circumstances require different modes of communication, and are able to quickly switch between them. No leader will truly succeed without high-level communication skills.
You should familiarize yourself with six main communication styles – listening, talking, directing, inspiring, teaching, and coaching.
Each has its own place and time to use and are most effective when combined. It’s absolutely important to be an expert with your communication methods. By being a communicator, you’re able to clearly express yourself and therefore lead to greater clarity.
You can be a leader, no matter what your title is. Practice those skills, and you’re going to be on the road to great leadership.
Amizur Nachshoni likes to use John Quincy Adams quote on leadership:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”