The best leaders listen well, deliver great speeches and show decisiveness when it counts. But that’s not all.
Superior leaders demonstrate subtle skills that set them apart. Examples include:
√ Tapping the power of silence. Leaders often hold court with their charisma. But knowing when to ask questions and wait for answers, enables you to learn more.
√ Admitting error. Part of a leader’s job is to articulate a vision and motivate others to embrace it.
Visions can prove faulty once the execution begins. Sturdy leaders make midstream adjustments while acknowledging when their initial vision was wrong.
√ Harnessing everyone’s strengths. Experienced leaders analyze complex systems and translate complicated challenges to simple directives. It’s even more important to delegate effectively—and help staffers organize their workday so that they maximize their activity.
√ Connecting problems to solutions. It’s easy to identify problems and demand that employees solve them. True leaders get into the weeds by defining how a problem evolved and outlining options.
√ Spotlighting smart decisions by others. If you’re the brightest person in the room, you can make high-stakes decisions with confidence. But enlightened leaders are willing to let underlings step up and make big decisions—and then credit their wisdom when they achieve the desired outcomes.
— Adapted from “6 things exceptional leaders do better,” Peter Gasca, www.inc.com.
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