When we speak of leaders, we imagine an authoritative figure that gives commands and represents his or her entire community. Unlike the movies, being a leader in the real world is a lot more complicated than it seems.
Read on to see what sort of qualities you can cultivate to be an effective, future-focused leader.
1. Cultivate A Vision That Others Can Share In
As Jack Welch once said, “good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”.
An authority without a vision is merely a manager. To truly establish yourself as a person worth following, practice developing a clear vision on where you are heading and how you will accomplish that.
A manager can get people to work efficiently, but a future-focused leader inspires others to work with passion.
2. Practice What You Preach (Trickle down influence)
It all boils down to having integrity. Being a visionary is important, but to getting others to believe in your vision means that you have to believe in yourself just as much.
No one trusts a person who is all talk. A true future-focused leader knows this, and does not make false promises or grand gestures without a plan to turn words into reality.
You’ll also find, that when others see you as a person of integrity, your words and actions become all the more powerful.
3. Reading Is Planning, and Planning Matters
Warren Buffett attributes a lot of his success to his reading habits. He compares it to the likes of compound interest, where knowledge builds up over time with consistent efforts.
While Mr Buffett’s 500 pages per day is a bit much for the average person, as a leader, people look to you for firm answers and decisions. Even just reading the newspaper everyday helps you keep afloat with current happenings around the world.
In the digital age, it is now easier than ever to get a hold of written knowledge. E-books, online journals and blogs all offer a wide database of knowledge at your fingertips. Get to it!
4. Great Leaders Maintain Composure With A Positive Attitude
The average person knows what a positive state of mind looks like. However, the average person does not plan ahead for adversities. It is when these unexpected moments occur, that you, as a leader, should be able to push on with positivity.
Keeping a positive attitude is not always about smiles and joys. It’s about having the courage and tenacity to face even the toughest of trials. A future-focused leader plans ahead and stays on top of any dilemmas, come what may.
5. They Avoid Blaming Others, But Praise Them When They’ve Done Well
Responsibility is always a key-takeaway of an effective leader, and it’s a quality that is emphasized for a reason.
Leaders don’t complain. They take action. Leaders don’t blame. They take action. Leaders have no time for excuses. They take action.
You, as a leader, must be firm in all areas of progression and setbacks. There are times where it is necessary to comment on a subordinates’ negative behaviour, but a leader knows to handle this professionally, without the need to criticize.
Likewise, a leader also understands the importance of praise. Without picking favourites, a leader takes the time to commend their team for a job well done, without ever diminishing the motivation of another department.
It’s a balancing act on a tight-rope. One that a responsible, future-focused leader knows how to walk perfectly.
Being a leader always sounds glamorous, but it comes with its fair-share of responsibilities. Leaders are constantly finding new methods of operations to move the business forward. Products, services, extensions and processes are all a daily part of their routine.
Future-focused leaders do all this, while inspiring those around them to be innovative and experiment with new ideas in intelligent ways.
The business environment becomes more complex with each passing day, so staying on top and ahead is so important for someone who finds themselves in a position of leadership!
Actionable Takeaway: The sign of an effective, future-focused leader is apparent in all their mannerisms. A competent leader has been in a position where they were required to work with a team. To read on more on how to be a good team player, click here.