Great leaders inspire those around them. What makes a great leader? Regardless of age, it isn’t what you think! While there is no magic bullet, there are three factors that heavily influence great leaders.
- Great leaders make others happy when they are around! While this seems unimportant, did you know that happiness can boost motivation by ten percent! A happy student, employee, friend etc. is more productive in any group they are a part of. As we all know emotions are contagious, and that is especially true of happiness!
- It’s long been assumed leaders in a group do the majority of talking. However, studies indicate just the opposite is true. In the most productive groups everyone participates and shares their ideas and viewpoints. Respect for ALL team members is the unspoken, and underlying factor that creates this dynamic. This type of flexible communication rarely occurs in “structured” group meetings, but is commonplace in very informal settings. In other words, the informal mode of communication, that is typically used when we are talking with friends produces a higher level of productivity when used within the school or business environment. What we would consider an “unconventional” way of conducting meetings and leading a team, actually contributed to more successful outcomes. While objectives were used to drive the meeting, there was an easy give and take about how to best achieve the objectives. Everyone felt heard and valued for their opinions and expertise that was brought to the table.
- Another discovery was that great leaders develop genuine relationships with everyone and encourage others to do the same. Due to the culture created by this mindset, colleagues within groups often become friends. This results in greater overall achievement at work for individuals and teams. Successful groups spend more time socializing informally. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking a daily coffee break with co-workers or having recess for young students in school can actually increase overall productivity. When people get to know each other they are more likely to become a tight-knit group. This ultimately increases performance. Strangers become acquaintances and acquaintances become friends. Most people will put forth the effort at school or work when assisting a colleague, but just about everyone will go the extra mile to help a friend. The result is that more work gets done in a shorter amount of time and productivity increases. Being a great leader is NOT about being dictatorial. It’s about (1) Leading by example (2) Focusing on people’s strengths (3) Having gratitude (4) Being inclusive (5) Having a vision (6) Caring about those around you (7) Having fun (8) Being flexible (9) Staying focused and last, but not least (10) Persevering.