We all know leaders who work hard at their craft, and many are really good at what they do. However, some leaders go above and beyond simply being good--they are truly great leaders.
But how exactly can you bridge the gap between being a good leader and a great one? The good news is that leadership is not rocket science--great leaders do a few, simple things really well, and you can too. Here are three simple habits of leaders who have successfully made the transition from good to great.
1. Be empathetic
Great leaders have the ability to understand people's problems and concerns with genuine feeling. They use the basic human quality of empathy to guide employees through the obstacles and challenges they face. When people complain, the best leaders actually listen and respond to their employees' concerns, and they constantly look for ways to attain long-term success for their respective organizations. They empathize, keep problems from becoming personal, refrain from blaming individuals, and actively search for progressive solutions.
2. Master your focus
Great leaders make sure to narrow their vision to the task at hand--no more, no less. They are able to prepare, strategize, and define an effective plan to tackle whatever obstacles need to be overcome. Being laser-sharp when it comes to planning and logical problem solving, as well as able to communicate your thought processes, is the key to informing others of your capacity to complete tasks independently--a quality found in every remarkably effective leader. Take your original focus and multiply it 10-fold to lead a group effectively and effortlessly.
3. Practice awareness
Although we are all aware of many things every day, being emotionally aware of the people who work for and with us requires a little bit more work. Heightening your understanding of why people act and react the way they do allows for greater skill in interpersonal relations. Great leaders are very well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their people, and they make assignments and provide training as necessary. They are also aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, and they play to their strengths while hiring others to provide support where they need it.