An effective leader inspires followers by exciting them and filling them with a shared enthusiasm and passion for achieving a goal. Some leaders are born with a magnetic personality, but great leadership is not based exclusively on personality, according to Mike Crant of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
Charisma can be learned, and charismatic leaders can be developed through the generation of ideas and initiatives and the creation of a vision to move a company forward. This kind of active leadership is associated with charisma in the minds of subordinates.
Leaders who exhibit passion on the job and present an optimistic attitude can garner a positive response. Likewise, leaders who show empathy for their staff through words and actions will be regarded by workers as being both transformative and charismatic.
It’s those individuals who can mine the emotions of a workplace by focusing on how employees are treated and how their needs are met, who ensure success by inspiring others to work harder to make an idea or plan a reality.
Good leaders also are proactive, Crant said, which is a natural extension of active leadership.
Proactive leaders identify areas that can be improved. They take the initiative to create new circumstances and challenge the status quo by refusing to rest on past laurels. Proactive leaders don’t simply make the best of a bad situation; they take action to effect change, thereby playing an active role in achieving success.
By being proactive, leaders often receive subjective and objective measurements of job success through positive peer reviews and tangible evidence, such as increased sales or industry performance.
Proactive leaders often achieve greater outcomes in their career. They make more money, are promoted more frequently and have a higher job satisfaction because they enjoy work more than reactive leaders. They are seen as team players, and are praised and regarded as superior leaders because they are innovative on the job.
Proactive leaders constantly stay in front of challenges in the workplace, anticipate problems before they happen and identify ways for the organization and its employees to be more successful.
There are three kinds of people, Crant said: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
Great leaders can inspire people even in the face of adversity. These individuals are more influential because they inspire trust in people. They promote enthusiasm by being enthusiastic. They have purpose because they have a plan, and they are able to share that plan in a way that encourages others to support it.
The late President Ronald Reagan once said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
Great leaders aren’t afraid of communicating both good and potentially adverse news with their team.
Those leaders don’t pretend to be something they aren’t. They allow their personality to inform their leadership style, creating an authenticity that workers will respond to.
Above all, true leaders never lose their sense of curiosity or the confidence to try a different approach, and they are not afraid to let others shine by championing bold ideas from a staff member that might produce unexpected and wildly positive results.
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