Ever been told that you have leadership potential? To start your journey of discovering whether you were truly meant to lead, you can start with the proven fact that great leaders aspire to lead by serving the needs of their people.
With that as a basis for developing your leadership, you now need to measure yourself against the standards of the best leaders in business.
Here are five top leadership traits I have studied over the years. Ask yourself whether these examples confirm that you were meant to lead others.
1. They make others around them better.
There are bosses and then there are leaders. To differentiate the two, to lead means having the desire and capacity to grow people -- to set them up for success and make them better at what they do.
2. They develop trust.
How can leaders ensure that a team is staying cohesive, collaborating at a high level, and headed in the same direction while keeping employees and customers happy? The secret is trust. And the foundation for trust is integrity. When leaders operate from integrity and are seen as dependable and accountable for their actions, they gain the trust and respect of their people.
3. They focus their business on problem-solving.
A company focused on solving a problem is more cohesive and can have a faster impact. Daniela Perdomo, co-founder and CEO of goTenna, is no stranger to fostering a workplace culture of problem-solving. She explained to me, "When we make a new product, when we start a new initiative, even when we set up a meeting, there's something we're solving for." A shared determination to solve problems boosts employee engagement, as well. As Perdomo puts it, "This mentality nurtures creativity while allowing us to remain focused on our objectives, which means more innovative ideas to accomplish our goals."
4. They give employees a voice.
During times of high stress and anxiety, major decisions on the horizon should be introduced to other team members with varying perspectives. This means giving your valued employees a voice to speak up and take action. Great leaders regularly tap into their creative and strategic thinkers and hear different approaches to problems so that better and faster decisions are made.
5. They lead in order to change lives.
Great leaders start businesses to make a dramatic difference in other people's lives. They instinctively know how to reinforce the mission of their organizations to engage and energize workers. They find ways to inject more purpose and meaning into people's work, which helps employees to approach their work with renewed energy and commitment. When workers are intrinsically motivated by leaders who have their best interests in mind, they show loyalty and commitment, want to do more, and perform better. It comes from the heart and, in turn, lives are changed for the better.