Leaders listen


Lisa Leonce will be launching a book entitled Successful Leadership Traits: An A to Z Guide at Wanstead Library this month. Here, the career and leadership coach has a message for the leaders among you

In a world where people are constantly judging others and themselves – consciously and unconsciously – it is easy to believe successful leadership is reliant on the leader's popularity. Everyone has an opinion about others – even if not expressed externally.

How do you respond to hearing these world leader's names: Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka), Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), Theresa May and Donald Trump? These leaders are all different, yet they have similar traits which enabled their success. So, is successful leadership subjective or are there core traits?

Successful leadership is based on principles that motivate, encourage, drive change and empower others. Leadership is a gift and a skill, which can be developed. Some traits will be natural and easy for you, while in other areas you may have to put in more effort. Six common traits most people expect from leaders are integrity, visionary (goal setters and achievers), honesty, commitment, resilience and motivation.

Once the basic principles of leadership are applied and the leader begins to be known for their actual personal ability and predominate style, then a subjective element comes into play. There is no perfect style which suits every situation or person. Nevertheless, good leaders know when and how to adapt their style to the situation. For the future leaders out there, success starts with you and requires:

  • Self-care: and self-development.
  • Understanding: your people, those around you, customers and service providers.
  • Communication: listen beyond the words being said. Ensure everyone knows the goals and their role.
  • Collaboration: and commitment – provide space and support for opportunities to be expressed and explored.
  • Engagement: involve people. By respecting differences, you will see things from other perspectives.
  • Standby: your successes and failures – accept responsibility.
  • Self-control: of your emotions and actions, particularly in challenging situations.

If you want to be (and remain) a successful leader – whether of a country or local club – make sure you have the basic principles, and periodically check yourself against the successful leadership traits, setting up external support from others where needed.

Lisa will be launching her book at Wanstead Library on 25 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm (free; booking required). Visit wnstd.com/leadership. For more information on leadership coaching, visit efiL-Coaching.com

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