Imagine being a business leader who has dedicated his entire life to the business. You have worked day in and day out to ensure that business thrives. As time passed, your business expanded to different regions in the world, a dream you have always wanted to achieve.
Fast forward to today, you have passed your prime. Your retirement is just around the corner. Now, it is time for you to pass on the torch to others. You are also worried about the future of your business as you are not sure about your successor and how he or she will manage your business. That is why you are hunting for the right person who can fill in your boots and take the business forward. You are looking for a successor who can lead your business on the path to success.
Identifying great leaders is not easy especially if you are unaware of the skills that make successful business leaders. Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the most successful investors in the world shares his formula to help you spot a great leader. He breaks it down into six distinct skills that you should look for in a leader.
1.Leading By Example
The first thing you will notice when choosing future leaders is they are not like others who say one thing and do the other. They practice what they preach. Good leaders lead by example, deliver on their promises, and value their commitments. That does not mean that they are rigid and don’t tolerate mistakes. They offer room to their subordinates but they also hold themselves accountable for what happens, which is not the case with other people. You will never see them hammering one idea in someone’s mind and doing the opposite. There is no contradiction in their sayings and actions.
2.Ability To Dream Big and Be Realistic At The Same Time
Good leaders have a vision and it is an audacious one in most cases. They believe in scaling new heights, which is why they aim high. On the other hand, great leaders always keep their feet on their ground no matter what. They dream big but they live in the real world and follow a realistic approach. They are the first ones to accept the truth and take responsibility for their team’s actions. This helps them to ditch the traditional mindset, embrace change, avoid wrongdoings and achieve desired results.
While others might be fighting to grab their share of credit, a good leader does the opposite. Arnold H Glasow once said, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” You will be hard-pressed to find a good leader taking credit for others’ actions and stealing the limelight. In fact, they will praise their subordinates in public and giving them the credit they deserve. They always acknowledge employee contributions and appreciate the good work of their employees.
4.Problem Solving Skills
As a leader, you are leading a team of individuals. Each member of the team has a different personality. They all come from different backgrounds, have different preferences and come from various cultures. You might have to deal with difference of opinion but great business leaders ensure that difference of opinion does not turn into conflicts and leads to jealously. Jealously and animosity amongst team members can negatively impact your team cohesion.
Instead of moaning about problems like other people, a good leader looks to find a solution. They focus on building consensus on critical issues and keep all the team members on the same page just like a website design company does. A good leader understands the situation, takes input from all stakeholders and then makes a decision. They are also great at anticipating emerging challenges that they might have to face in the future, thanks to their vision and take proactive measures to prevent any damage.
Ask any great leader about what is most important for them and they will tell you, people. Business managers and top-level executives focus on hard numbers and tend to ignore people in the process. That is what differentiates great leaders from managers. A good leader shows empathy and tries to understand and solve the problems their subordinates are facing. He or she spends more time developing a better understanding of the personality of different team members, which allows them to connect at a deeper level, strengthening the bond even more.
Great leaders don’t shy away from delegating and avoid micromanagement. They know that by giving their employees responsibility, you are sending a clear message that you trust them. That is when they give it their best shot.
6.Readiness To Get Their Hands Dirty
Have you ever seen a great leader that has a dual personality? No, right. Unlike others, they never wear a mask on their face or hide behind others in tough situations. A good leader leads from the front and is even ready to go in trenches with their troops if they have to. They never pass on orders from the back and put their subordinates in the line of fire. They face the challenge head-on and try their best to come out on top.
Which qualities do you look for when looking for a leader in your team? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.