One the most important characteristics of a leader is the ability to have a positive outlook and belief in what can be achieved. They should focus their energies on what can be done rather than on what cannot and they should look to take action rather than spend too long in detailed analysis of what happened in the past.
Leaders must believe in themselves, in the people they lead and in what they are trying to do. Those leaders that believe in success normally succeed, while those who believe in the possibility of failure, normally fail. Take a look at other important characteristics of a successful leader!
A real commitment to the vision is crucial
Creating a positive environment begins with the leader and in particular with the leader’s attitude to the team’s vision. The vision should be clear, motivational and should provide an identity for the team.
Leaders should have a real passion for the team’s vision and should advocate it strongly at every opportunity, to bring it alive and make it happen. If the leader does not enthuse about the vision then why should anyone else? Without commitment to the vision, it just becomes, what many critics say about vision statements, just a set of fancy marketing words.
Passion is the key to motivation
Great leaders are passionate about what they do and convey that passion and enjoyment to the rest of their team. Without passion leaders will find it difficult to motivate their team. That passion is evidenced by the way that leaders go about their work, particularly their positive body language, upbeat communication and use of positive language.
The importance of using positive words
Leaders need to think carefully about the way that they present themselves to their team and the words that they use. It is important to use strong, positive words wherever possible, provided of course that they are said with integrity. Saying ‘I am sure we can’ rather than ‘I think we might be able to’ shows a greater belief in what a team can do. It is important to enthuse about people’s success and so saying something has been done ‘very well’ rather than ‘quite well’ is much more motivational.
When leaders set a positive example in the way that they take genuine delight in people’s successes it makes a real difference to the team’s attitudes and behaviours and it quickly energises, or re-energises, the whole team.
Let’s focus on the future
Teams will face setbacks and failures. Leaders need to be positive in the way that they respond and to focus on what can be learned rather than whose fault it was. Only by the leader’s example will the team be encouraged to remain positive and to focus on the future in response to these difficult situations.
Teams will inevitably have to face and deal with new challenges. One way of facing such challenges is to see them in a negative light, as a hurdle to overcome, distracting the team from what they have become good at and comfortable with. Positive leaders create a culture that challenges are there to be embraced as they offer new opportunities for the team to learn, to develop and excel. The leader’s positive attitude to facing challenges and problems should set the tone for the whole team.
Optimism and integrity – Leaders must have it
Great leaders should also be optimistic. Few pessimists are real leaders even though they may have the title. Great leaders are committed to the future and so any pessimism or negativity in what the future holds will undoubtedly be felt by their team.
Furthermore, all leadership actions and behaviours must be carried out with absolute integrity and so when leaders are genuinely enthusiastic, positive, energetic and confident, they will be able to harness the energy that is already within their team to achieve success.
If you want to learn more about the role of leaders, have a look at the free eBook “Leading By Example” written by Peter Thatcher.
Download “Leading By Example” right here