5 Things the Best Leaders Do
“Pick your boss, not the job.” - there’s a reason career coaches say this. Your leader plays a huge role in your growth, happiness, and success. Conversely, when you are that great leader, your team will work harder, be more engaged, and your retention rates will skyrocket. We have researched some of our favorite companies to see what their best leaders do, and we found these 5 qualities in common:
They earn your trust. “Trust fuels the ability to give honest feedback, to have difficult conversations, and to partner together to build great things.” says Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway. Pew Research Center also confirms that only 19% of Millennials (the largest generation in the workforce) believe that most people can be trusted, which is down from 40% in the Baby Boomer generation. This means leaders need to put more emphasis on fostering trust with their team. Practically speaking, be open, approachable, own up to mistakes, and act in the best interest of your team’s culture.
They listen, then act. Forbes urges us to think of our team as an innovation lab. This means taking the time to hear multiple perspectives before making a decision. Collective wisdom is always greater than individual wisdom. “Teams need to feel engaged and that comes from feeling like their contributions are meaningful.” says Shannon King SVP of Partnerships at A&E Networks.
They respect you in and out of the office. According to the Harvard Business Review, being treated with respect was more important to employees than recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — even opportunities for learning, growth, and development. This means to learn a bit about everyone’s life outside of work and modeling respectful behavior. Personality tests, as well as asking meaningful questions about their strengths and challenges will help you determine the best way(s) to show respect.
They help you find purpose in your work. The best leaders remind their team of the whys behind the work to keep them inspired, focused, and passionate. KPMG, a global accounting firm started a project called “The 10,000 Stories Challenge” where they asked their staff to reframe and elevate the meaning and purpose of their work. The results were incredible; because an accounting firm convinced their employees they could change the world.
They build a team. Think about how every new hire will impact (or detract) from the team as a whole. Decide what skills, personality type, culture, and/or background may be missing from your team, then zero in on those qualities during the interview process. Additionally, Robert Sutton, PhD, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss says the best bosses are self-aware and understand what it feels like to work for them, and to share that insight.
Until next time, lead on.
The Leadr Team