Evolving into an effective and admired business leader is an asset to any team. And this is a task that takes a lot of practice. If you’re wondering why, it is because a good leader requires several necessary skills in his or her arsenal. These are skills that not only further the business along a successful path but also motivate the team to perform better. While every leader is different and comes with a varied set of qualities, there are a few traits that are common in any good leader. Here are 6 character traits that you need to build in order to be a leader that your teammates and industry players look up to you for:
Honesty is key: It is a given that good leaders are authentic, trustworthy and dependable. Your moral quotient has to be high - one that others can vouch for and something that you must be known for. No matter what this is a quality that cannot waver: whether a deal doesn’t come to fruition or someone offers you unnecessary favours, you stand your ground. Always do the right thing and stand up for it even if it makes you unpopular. This will go a long way in building a credible image among your employees, potential clients and the competition. As they say, a company’s culture and reputation is a reflection of its leaders.
Being adaptable to people and situations: In order to be a successful leader in the direct marketing space, you need to be adaptable to several new situations that may come your way. You must work on being forward-thinking and create fast-changing strategic plans on-the-go. Being stable, both financially and operationally, not only helps the team and the business but also creates credibility among your clients. So whether it is a new client or a co-worker who shares a different mindset on how to go about work, learn how to quickly adapt, put your points across in a direct yet polite manner and take control of the situation.
Thinking critically: High-profile jobs, especially in the marketing sector, always involve a great deal of responsibility. Therefore, being a critical thinker is a crucial skill to develop. This is one skill that indicates your ability to evaluate a situation or a potential issue - from different viewpoints - and figure out a way to work around it even before it happens. For instance, if you anticipate a particular not doing well due to a change in government policies or a poll indicating people showing low interest in a product, it;s time to change your marketing strategy and perhaps the product too. Analyse both situations well and carve out a marketing plan ahead of time.
Nurture the entrepreneurial spirit: An admired leader must be one who is excited by new opportunities and swiftly picks up on ongoing market trends. With technology and data constantly disrupting the marketing space, it is a given that these factors are affecting customer behaviour and their buying patterns. As a leader, you need to be open-minded, always looking for better ways to drive results. As Kerry Curran of Catalyst says, success comes from unique approaches uncovered through innate curiosity and problem-solving, with a comfort for risk and testing boundaries.
Communicate effectively: You may have the best team and your finger is on the market’s pulse, but unless you learn how to communicate clearly and easily, you are at a disadvantage. Extraordinary communication skills are important for any great leader. The best leaders are those who are recognised for their ability to communicate their goals and intentions in a concise and timely manner. It is only through proper communication that you can motivate the team to do better so be sure to work on all the forms: written, spoken, listening and even your body language. Start off by observing great leaders from the past - study their behavior, mannerisms and get cracking!
Work on your knowledge bank: A talking head is worthless. No matter which industry you belong in, a great leader needs to be as much of a practitioner as they are a facilitator. As a piece in inc.com states, too many CEOs get comfortable in their corner office and stop being present in the day to day of their own businesses, which leads them to fall out of touch with employees, their peers, and sometimes even their industry at large. So, if you want to stay on top of your game and be a good leader within your company and outside, it is very important you work on yourself and be aware of relevant facts, figures, and best practices.
So follow these six steps and be rest assured that you will be a leader that everyone admires.