I am always thinking about the traits of strong leaders, and as such have been thinking about them in categories. Today I am wrapped up in the “A’s” of leadership and am happy my thoughts in today’s article.
The first of the “A’s” is Accessible. An empowered leader makes being accessible a priority. Some ways that one can be accessible is by holding regular office hours, open corporate meetings, walking around the organization periodically just to create a bonding with the staff and employees. A huge key is simply regularly returning phone calls and emails; being accessible requires a sincere intention to be open and available to others.
Warmth and openness can go a long way to being recognized as an accessible leader. However accessibility requires one to have an open attitude and a strategy for making it clear that the door is open. If you hold regular meetings it will mean little if those meetings are not widely publicized and people are not actively encouraged to attend. Accessible leaders remember to recognize the successes of others find ways to celebrate these successes. A great leader knows how to praise and offer encouragement when tasks are done well, and they can also offer constructive feedback regarding improvement.
The Second “A” leadership trait is being Accountable. The effective leader is the accountable leader. The accountable leader knows that when he/she is focused on driving accountability and engaging employees he/she will be surprised by some major shift in the environment. Creating an environment of accountability starts at the top. Leaders cannot expect staff accountability if they do not set the example. They must set the bar high. It all begins with you. You must be very clear when you set a task, clearly articulate the vision, goals and expectation of the project at hand. The leader must then hold themselves to the very high standards that they expect from the team. Always be clear. Always set benchmarks and timelines and always adhere to the rules you expect others to follow.
The Third “A” leadership trait is Attitude. I firmly believe that attitude is the key to everything we do or have. Therefore, not surprise that attitude is key for all leaders. Lou Holtz said “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” This is so true and should be the mantra for all leaders. It makes no difference what skills you have or how internally motivated you are if you do not have a great attitude you will never be able to have true leadership success. Your attitude is your greatest asset and you have a choice everyday what kind of an attitude you will carry with you. It’s beyond me why we would not all want to have an attitude of gratitude, high expectations and great joy every day. Your attitude is contagious, so you have the opportunity to create your environment each day. Just go for it!! To your success!