When you think of leadership you are actually thinking about influence. At its core, leadership is really about the influences on the people around you and the ability to move them in certain directions to achieve certain goals or objectives.
When looking for leadership in your coatings contracting business — perhaps even within yourself — there are several factors that are part of all great leaders. Consider the following 12 factors to improve your leadership skills or help you identify those individuals in your organization who can take over leadership positions.
Motivation is a huge key to any successful enterprise. Remember: What motivates one person may not motivate another. True leaders can quickly identify motivating factors in an individual, in order to move or influence him or her in a certain direction. Some of the strongest motivators include money, fear, time, and power. In most cases individuals will be motivated by several factors; however, one factor will usually prove to be the dominant one. When you find out what it is and how to use it, your ability to influence that person will be greatly improved.
Tolerance is really the ability to respect others’ views without selling yourself out. It is of utmost importance to understand where the people or organization are coming from and to realize that they may not understand your position. To accomplish this, you must be an excellent communicator.
Trust is necessary to create the right environment. Consider the three sides of a triangle, or the BLT, which stands for believe, like, and trust. Your goal should always be to attempt to have individuals and businesses believe, like, and trust you and your organization. When you accomplish this, you are well on your way to professional and personal success.
Purpose is your mission — the driving forces behind your business. You should clearly know and understand your purpose and the purpose of the individuals around you. In some cases, your crew member may not fully understand the real purpose of his or her job or the organization. It is a leader’s job to effectively convey the mission and purpose to others. Leaders know their purpose and the purpose of those around them.
All leaders have a clear vision, which is to say, what the ideal future will look like. It is important that a vision include values, and it is critical that leadership makes sure that the people and organization agree with that vision. When a leader’s vision does not match the organizational vision, you will have problems.
This may seem like a small thing, but a positive attitude can make a big difference and conversely a negative attitude can also make a big difference — but not in a good way. People and organizations feed off of leaders, and those with positive attitudes will receive the best response.
A leader’s awareness is the understanding of not just his or her own identity, but the identity of the people in the organization as well as the identity of the organization he or she represents. Each and every individual has a core identity, and the awareness to understand that core will improve your success as a leader.
It is impossible to become an effectual leader without determination. Failure often accompanies leadership, and those who are not determined will never get off the mat and pull themselves back up. When determination starts to disappear, leadership will begin to fail. Determination never takes a vacation or gets sick; it should be working every day.
Great leaders must have faith that they will succeed, but equally as important is that they have faith in the people and organization around them. The best leaders believe in themselves. It is critical that in order for your organization and the people around you to believe in you, you first believe in yourself.
Leaders are always looking for new ideas and different places to find them. Leaders are not afraid to solicit new ideas from others. Businesses constantly need new ideas to improve their products and or services, and some of the best ideas are inspired by something or someone.
Effective leaders know how to control their emotions and do not allow others to control their emotions or dictate their reactions. Willpower is critical for all leaders and is absolutely necessary to succeed. Life and business are very similar; they almost never go as planned, so be prepared.
Patience means that no matter what the challenge, a leader never gives up. Your business and people around you sense this and respond to it. Patience goes hand in hand with commitment, which means that when a leader says something, he or she does something. Leaders take action steps, they set examples, and when this is done people and organizations respond.
Patience appears last on the list of 12 factors to improve leadership for a reason: Success and effective leadership happen over time and not overnight. You might need the patience to get through it, but once you do it’ll be worth it.
About the Author:
Kevin Coughlin, DMD, MBA, MAGD, is an accomplished dentist, author, and speaker. With his unique and powerful message, Coughlin provides small businesses with actionable solutions when considering strategic change, as well as keys to compete in an expansive market. For more information, contact: Kevin Coughlin, www.Ascent-Dental-Solutions.com.