Traditionally, the sole purpose of a business was to make money and its financial executives were little more than “bean counters”. Today, the value of a company is measured not just in terms of immediate profits but also sustainability. Today’s financial officers must emerge as leaders who build enduring institutions. If you find yourself in this challenging position of leading a team towards success, this article may help you along the way. The qualities expected from a good leader are numerous. Here, we have discussed the 7 most essential ones that add the “in” in “incredible”! These may be placed under two broad categories:
- Who you are
- What you do
Who You Are
1. Introspect Before adopting a new set of traits, it is important to first evaluate exactly where you stand. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. What makes your team tick? Which are the mistakes it makes most often? And what role do you have to play in both scenarios? The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to draw your roadmap to successful leadership.
2. Inspire This is perhaps the most important quality expected from a leader. To inspire your team to make useful contributions towards meeting your organizational goals, you must first establish your own credibility. Be sincere and worthy of trust. Be compassionate, take responsibility and don’t throw in the towel when things go downhill. Instead, let your team members know that you have their backs and that you care about them, and not just about their output.
What You Do
3. Invest As Dr. Stephen Covey affirmed often, “My definition of leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” Micromanaging and doubting every step they take independently will only serve to discourage and cause frustration. Show your team members that you believe in their capacity to deliver what is expected from them. If they lack skills to execute a task, arrange to have them trained in a formal or informal capacity. If they still err, be gentle and work out solutions together.
4. Involve While your larger organizational goals may be defined from the powers-that-be, try to involve your team into splitting them into bite-sized objectives. When they are thus involved, they will develop a sense of ownership towards the task and give it their best shot.
5. Instruct As a leader, you need to direct the team members so they know exactly what the objective is, how it is relevant to the organization’s overall mission and by when they must achieve it. They must also know how to achieve it and how to measure their progress along the way. It is essential to communicate these points clearly and even in writing, if necessary.
6. Interact Greet, meet and give feedback regularly. Praise often. In case you need to correct someone, use the sandwich principle: slip in the problem between two layers of encouragement.
7. Integrate Your progress chart may be consistently on the rise, but you can only break records with a great team. Integrate diverse individuals into one cohesive unit that works in synergy to multiply strengths and neutralize weaknesses. Even when one falters, boost morale instead of deflating his will to try again. These 7 “in”s are simple yet surprisingly effective. Adopt them to unleash the incredible leader within you!