I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life submerged in the corporate world in some way or another. Whether it was working for a large corporation in a digital marketing capacity, leading a team in IT managing strategic software and security updates, or handling marketing for a large digital platform in the sports world I’ve had my ups and downs with leadership in all sorts of sectors. I’ve been mentored by some of the most amazing people I’ve come across, and “lead” by some of the most out of touch, most-inconsiderate seeming people I’ve ever met.
Before you speak or even think negatively about your “Boss” you have to remember that they have objectives. They have both corporate and personal goals for not only their career and position at the company, but also the actual company’s objectives as well. The higher up the ladder you go, the closer you are to the responsibility of both profit and the bottom line. It’s tough to think about that when you are junior, because at the junior level everything can seem changeable. Everything can seem easily fixed with a change of direction, but usually you are shielded from the spider web of complexity that is change by your boss, your bosses boss and so on…
I believe this is going to be an ongoing article for me that may never end as I’m being mentored in personal aspects of my life and the professional world. But so far I’ve come up with 5 areas that I think are important attributes of a good leader. Some may seem obvious, but its taken me years to piece some of it together and really understand how I can apply it to myself so I can be and become the type of leader I would have wanted to work with\for.
- A leader always listens.
A leader will always listen to their team. Especially in times where their initial instinct is that they completely disagree. Usually midst the communication of an idea you don’t support there will be a very valuable piece of information.
- A leader always utilizes their team.
A true leader knows that they aren’t the best at everything. They know that they need to be hands off in certain aspects of their teams responsibilities. Utilizing every team member for their best skills will result in the end product being optimal. This is the best for the company and best for the team.
- A leader defends their team.
Your team may screw up. They may make huge mistakes that impact the company. But a true leader goes to bat for them at first re-action. A leader then takes the information in, works with the team member to avoid the mistake in the future and explains how they need to change processes so that it won’t happen again. This creates trust between a leader and his or her people.
- A leader balances conservative-like fiscal responsibility and social responsibility.
Personal life matters just as much as work ethic. But both are extremely important to the team’s success. You can give a little to get a lot, but a leader knows when they are being taken advantage of, or not seeing the results that should be reciprocated.
- A leader strives to do good.
This is a big one for me. “Doing Good” is such a broad term, but its critical to a leader being successful and even more importantly to a leader’s team being successful. The right thing is almost always a good thing and a good thing is almost always the best thing. Whether its working with other departments, aiming to raise the bar on quality or productivity, or just trying to be the best human being you can be; aiming to be a good person will steer no one wrong (In my opinion).
More to come… I’m sure…