Leadership, Trust

How to Be the Kind of Leader People Want to Follow

You’re probably familiar with the aphorism, ‘people leave bosses not organizations’! From my experience there’s a lot of truth in that saying. Hence one of the main reasons people resign their jobs to work elsewhere is because they didn’t trust their former boss.

So how can you as a manager become the kind of leader people want to work for? Perhaps you already are – if so, congratulations! But if you’re aware some improvement is needed then hopefully this article might be of assistance.

Research suggests that leaders who consistently demonstrate the following characteristics are highly valued by their team members:

  • Good Character 

* Highly trustworthy – they have integrity, have no hidden agendas, they ‘walk their talk’, are reliable,  and you know where you stand with them.

* Compassionate – they show care and concern for others especially those in their teams.

* Emotionally stable – not subject to serious mood swings.

* Hopeful – they bring a positive orientation to their roles and relationships.

(These above four qualities relating to character were the top results from a Gallup poll of over 10,000 people who were asked to name the leader who had the most positive influence on their daily lives? A follow up question then asked each to list 3 words that most describe what this leader has best contributed to your life.)

  • Team Centred

Respected leaders are those who are more ambitious for the success of their teams than for their own success or status. As such, they celebrate and honour the achievements of the team as a whole as well as those of individual members.

  • Transparent

They are open and authentic. They don’t cover up, make excuses or blame others for their own mistakes. They share with their team whatever relevant information they can and don’t conceal it in an attempt to maintain power and control.

  • Strength Based

These types of leaders are aware of the strengths of their teams overall as well as the strengths and limitations of individual members. In so doing they use the strengths and capacities within their teams to minimise weaknesses.

  • Meaning Makers

They are passionate about their positions which they find meaningful and fulfilling. As a result they are committed to helping their team members also find purpose in their jobs and see how their work contributes to the mission and vision of the organization and adds value to the wider society.

  • Model Personally

Inspiring leaders personally model the attitudes and behaviours they expect from their teams.

  • People Developers

Respected leaders are committed to and schedule time in their calendars for the growth and development of their people through regular individual and team coaching, training experiences and assignments to grow their members’ skills and capacities for their present roles as well as for future possibilities.

Little wonder that when workers know they have a leader who consistently demonstrates these 7 qualities they won’t want to leave.

If you would love to implement some of these characteristics in your own leadership, we love assisting leaders in these areas through leadership coaching, which develops customised action steps, creating transformational change.

Graham Beattie

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