There are a number of leadership qualities an effective leader might possess; one is the ability to care for each employee as an individual.
Knowing the Importance of People
From the time you meet a prospective employee and through their inevitable departure, a true leader treats others as they would want to be treated.
- What are some qualities of a good leader?
A true leader knows that employees are the company’s most valuable resource, and just as a leader must continue their own education, they must coach and help others grow as well.
Placing value on everyone’s need to grow is one of the qualities that characterize a true leader.
Another one of the leadership qualities that distinguishes a true leader is the ability to differentiate what is most important.
Specifically, is it better to be the best at something, or better to have the best team?
Take a look at this scenario: An infantry platoon leader typically leads 40 soldiers who must each qualify with their weapon as a marksman, sharpshooter, or expert.
Each category indicates progressively better performance by several points, with expert as the best qualification.
Naturally, a leader wants to set the example and should strive to achieve more than the basic proficiency, but which is most important for the rifle platoon leader:
- To qualify individually as expert?
- To train and qualify the 40 members of your unit to be experts?
Those who focus all of their energy on being the best sometimes lose sight of their primary purpose, which is to build the best team.
As a leader, it is more important that you build a strong team than to be the best at accomplishing a task.
The Importance of Leadership
- What makes a good leader?
There are many leadership qualities you can develop that will make you more effective.
True leaders seek to understand versus being understood; they communicate without offending or causing resentment. Above all, true leaders continually demonstrate genuine interest in their team.
For instance, Colonel Mike Pulliam was a great leader because he appreciated others and he knew how to bring out the best in everyone.
One of his secrets was to consciously remember each person’s name and something about them. His extra effort made the difference between inspiring and motivating employees where others might not.
Mike knew how to build relationships and interact well with others. He was very likeable and this enabled him to positively influence others.
For much more on this topic, read the 1936 original and timeless classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.
Tom Crea is a leadership expert, decorated career Army Officer, and Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. Because of his proven skills, he was hand selected to run the Army’s leadership development program at two Boston colleges, where he and his team transformed college students into combat leaders.
Tom has a B.S. & M.C.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Political Science and loves coaching basketball and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Creating a Culture:
Tom’s proudest leadership moment came when his unit was called to war in Iraq after he had rotated out. His replacement was not able to perform, so members he developed stepped up to lead; they attribute their success to the leadership Tom instilled in each of them. Today, the Blackhawk leadership way.