Over the past 17 years I’ve worked at The Hagerman Group, it has been fulfilling to watch the company grow and evolve, thanks to the efforts of our people and the entrepreneurial spirit they embody. In a company where everyone is thought of as a leader, employees are empowered, their colleagues are inspired, and their clients reap the benefits.
The most important responsibility for leaders within organizations is to create future leaders. As you look to expanding opportunities in your own company, start by looking at your team members and the qualities they express. When it comes to characteristics of great leaders, there are many, but here are my top three.
Effective leaders are humble
Effective leaders remain humble, no matter how accomplished they become. Humility is a quality we all possess in some form, but most of us don’t learn it overnight, and the lesson of humility is rarely learned in the workplace. It can come from how we were raised or taught, and many life-changing events often come with a heavy dose of humility. Being humble amidst success—in addition to focusing on the team—is a main component of servant leadership, which puts the needs of others first and focuses on the development and growth of others. This relates directly to the next trait: focusing on the team.
Takeaway tip: Don’t deny the humility we naturally have as human beings.
Effective leaders are team-focused
The most important decisions leaders within organizations make are those that affect their team members. If you lead under the premise that teams accomplish more than individuals possibly can, the ultimate goal of your business or organization should be to build a high performing team. The people you hire, empower and promote and how you build trust with and team chemistry matter more than anything else.
Takeaway tip: Always keep your team top-of-mind.
Effective leaders are always improving
I enjoyed watching the Little League World Series last month with my son, who also plays baseball. It was incredible to see the flawless execution of these 11 to 13-year-olds, on such a big stage. After each game, I took the opportunity to reinforce a lesson (as I often do—just ask him). No matter how hard you think you are working, there is always someone out there working harder. And don’t be complacent or satisfied with that. Don’t ever allow yourself to feel as if you are on cruise control. Complacency is bad for the mind, the soul, and most importantly, the human spirit. Effective leaders avoid feeling accomplished, even amongst great accomplishments.
Takeaway tip: As the song, “Eye of the Tiger” reminds us, stay hungry!
Bringing it home
Do you see these traits in yourself and others? In the spirit of continuous improvement, how can you increase your team-focus and humility and decrease the risk of complacency? And more importantly, can you identify other leaders in your company who embody some or all of these traits? The time is now to empower them and invest in their continued growth and development—the ultimate responsibility of a servant leader.