Contrary to what some people may say, there is a huge difference between a regular supervisor in the workplace and a supervisor who is a leader.
It all boils down to a special skill set that sets the two types of supervisors apart—where one feels the need to constantly remind the people working beneath them that they are the superior, the other never has to mention it. Not everyone naturally comes by the skills necessary to be a true leader, but with some training, a person can come to develop these important skills and become a leader.
Here are 5 qualities and characteristics that set real leaders apart from the pack.
1. Lead by Example
Instead of demanding work from their employees, a real leader will lead by example and do the work alongside them. While true leaders hold their employees to a high standard, they hold themselves to an even higher one. They don’t expect their employees to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves, which earns them respect and allows employees to see that they do not consider themselves more important than anyone else.
2. Communicate Effectively
One of the most important characteristics of a real leader is their strong communication skills. A supervisor might tend to communicate poorly, berate employees, and threaten them into doing their jobs or meeting a certain quality of work. A real leader uses their words to influence performance. They are motivational, persuasive, and understanding. They know how to ask the right questions and they know how to listen.
3. Take Responsibility
Supervisors who are just in it for the job title and paycheck might push off any work they possibly can and may be very quick to place blame on everyone around them when something goes wrong. A real leader, on the other hand, takes responsibility for themselves and their team, good or bad. It takes a strong person to admit when they’ve made a mistake and accept any consequences, and a real leader will do just that.
4. Turn Problems into Opportunities
Rather than looking at every problem as a reason to get angry, frustrated, or place blame on others, a real leader looks at each problem as an opportunity to learn and grow. For example, not all customer feedback is positive. Instead of taking criticism personally, a real leader will take that feedback and develop a plan to address the problems customers are experiencing. Their focus is on improving the overall customer experience. Life is not perfect, and problems inevitably arise—you want to make sure the leaders in your company can roll with the punches and adapt when things don’t go as planned.
5. Never Stop Learning
The moment a person thinks that they know it all is the moment that person’s career begins to backslide. Albert Einstein didn’t quit the moment he discovered E=MC2, but rather kept pushing forward and learning everything he could. The same is true for strong leaders. No matter what industry you work in, there will always be change—it’s inevitable. A true leader will never stop learning, even when they may truly have perfected their knowledge within their given area of expertise.
Help Them Grow
As a business owner or executive, you have the power to help your employees reach their full potential. With the proper tools, even the least dedicated supervisor training on your staff can become a true leader, ready to work hard for your company. Then, they’ll have the ability to cascade the learning and encourage their team members to incorporate the same behaviors. At CMOE, we have the tools and team-building activities you need.
Contact us today to learn more about leadership training and development seminars and get your employees on the path to becoming real leaders.