Countless articles and “how-to” books have been written describing the various styles, attributes, competencies and behaviors on what makes an effective leader in the workplace. Sorting through the myriad of theories, I believe that what distinguishes a boss, manager or supervisor as a great leader, in practice, is their ability to adapt to their particular environment, applying different leadership styles, tactics and behaviors that are appropriate for the situation at-hand. What these great leaders then do is confidently leverage their leadership position with an eye to accomplishing the organization’s strategic objectives and driving results. The end product is an engaged team (you and me) that has authority, is engaged, motivated and allowed to successfully perform our roles and contribute to the bottom-line results of the organization.
Here is the short list of attributes that I want in a leader who is going to let me do what I am at work to do – contribute to the success of the organization:
- Has vision and passion – I thrive in an environment where my role is strategically aligned to the objectives of the organization, even if I am not on the frontline, but in a role that supports the frontline’s success. I want to work with a leader who is passionate about where the organization is going, helps me understand it and helps me see how my role contributes and aligns (or needs to re-align) to the organization’s strategy and culture.
- Walk the talk – I want to see my leader live and communicate the culture of the organization – always and consistently.
- Lets me do my job – Let me work with a leader who will trust me do what I was hired to do; someone who leverages my unique experience and skill set. I want a leader who is open to new ideas and ways of doing things and provides opportunities for me to expand my value to the organization.
- Is accountable and supportive – My ideal leader is accountable to build a high performing, results driven team by holding my colleagues and me accountable. He or she will be supportive of our work and remove organizational or political roadblocks to align the team’s objectives and mandates with the strategic objectives and culture of the organization.
- Listens and communicates - A great leader has to be an impartial listener, seeking information without a pre-concluded answer in mind. In addition, a great leader must communicate honestly, directly, regularly and timely. This is particularly important for my personal development – how can I fix something if I don’t know that it is broken?
- They are human – This has always been a personal aspect to the great leaders I have worked for. They have integrity; they are aware of their strengths and limitations. Committed to the cause, they are genuine, humorous and engender an environment of mutual respect. They show appreciation and interest in my success and for my life outside of work.
Prism Partners International can help you develop leaders in your organization by identifying and developing the skills they will need to be successful. Through our proprietary rating process and development plans, we can isolate the areas for improvement and hold the employee and their supervisor accountable to make the necessary adjustments for success.
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