If you're lucky, at some point in your career, you'll have the opportunity to work under the direction of a truly exceptional leader. Perhaps one day you'll even become one of those leaders yourself. What exactly distinguishes an exceptional leader from the pack of good, effective leaders?
Below we will discuss some of the intangible qualities that all outstanding leaders possess:
- They are confident. There will always be those days at the office when things just don't go the right way. In those stressful times, employees need to look to a leader who is cool under pressure. The best leaders offer calm reassurance to employees, telling them that setbacks are a normal part of business and that things will improve.
- They know when to take a step back. There's not a single exceptional leader out there who's also a micromanager. Great leaders don't feel like they need to be in charge of everything; they trust the decision making abilities of their employees.
- They're honest. The best leaders out there hold themselves to high ethical standards. They have strong core values and stand by them--both in their professional and personal lives. They lead with integrity and their employees follow suit.
- They stand by their employees. It's inevitable that at some point, a client or customer will call to complain about an employee. Exceptional leaders always support their employees in these difficult situations. To be unsupportive would destroy the employee's credibility and the best leaders seek to avoid that.
- They lead by example. Great leaders wouldn't ask their employees to do anything that they wouldn't be willing to do themselves. The best leaders out there roll up their sleeves and get down in the trenches alongside their employees. They know that if they expect hard work and dedication from their employees, they better be willing to show them how it's done.
- They're forgiving. Truly outstanding leaders know that one mistake doesn't define a person - or an employee. They're able to move past the incident and continue to see the employee as a whole person - and not just as someone who once made a major mistake.
- They want to be better. The best leaders are always looking for ways to improve. At the end of each day, they wonder if they could've handled a situation more effectively, or if they should've acted more empathetically. Then, they make a commitment to themselves to do better the next day, the next month, and the next year.
To learn more about what qualities create exceptional leaders, please visit the Management & Leadership Section of our blog..
- Want to Increase Your Productivity at Work? Follow These Tips
- Workplace Productivity: Creat the Extraordinary Out of the Ordinary
- The Ongoing HR Challenge: When Happy Isn't Enough
- Quick Manager Tips on Employee Appreciation
- Excel in Your Job by Being Likable