Filed in Uncategorized by on July 31, 2017

image001There are many qualities that describe a leader, but nine stand out as being especially important. Since as Solomon said “there is nothing is new under the sun” if you’ve been “on the road” for a while, you may just want to view this as a reminder.  If you are still growing, (and remember in life there is no standing still you are either going ahead or falling behind) here are 9 traits that you should consider adopting that could help to make you the leader you hope to become.

image003A True Leader Trusts

With a real leader trust is the foundation of effective delegation, effective teamwork and a happy and productive organization.

Believing in your team is what makes you a leader and not the kind of micromanaging, look-over-your-shoulder type of boss that everyone hates working for. To be effective, one of the first things you need to do is demonstrate trust in your team. You should let them learn rather than watch their every move.

image005A True Leader Motivates

A motivated employee will always work better. That’s why great leaders find ways to keep their teams excited about their work.

Depending on your style and your staff’s needs, a motivating environment can be about fair pay, office snacks or allowing them the flexibility to come in early or letting them leave before closing if the day’s work is done.

Just make sure to learn the difference between motivating employees and babysitting them. If you want your municipality to operate like a smooth machine, then everyone needs to know and understand what their job is and accept responsibility for getting it.

image007A True Leader Communicates Clear Objectives and Sets Clear Goals

No matter where you work in a municipality if you have responsibility for a group of people you are the bridge between the municipalities’ goals and your team’s actions. Whether you are the CAO, a Director or a Manager YOU are a person who understands the big picture, it’s your job to make sure your team stays on track by relaying clear, specific objectives on an ongoing basis.

This way, your staff will always be in-tune with your organization’s goals and vision. Just make sure that what you’re asking for is both fair and realistic. That way you will avoid unnecessarily stressing out your employees.

image009A True Leader Supports … and Empowers Others

The more power you download to your team, the stronger you are as their leader. That’s why it’s important to empower and support your staff … that way they can rise to challenge when one comes their way. Not only will this make your team better in every way, it’ll also free up your time for some of the more difficult things you may face as the one in charge.

There is a direct correlation between the amount of support you give and the effort you get … inevitably they’ll pay you back in kind. This is the key to forming a co-operative relationship that promotes motivation, teamwork and a commitment to meeting the goals of your municipality.

image011A True Leader Makes a Commitment and Sees the Job Through

There may be nothing is worse than working for someone who leaves projects unfinished and is careless or haphazard about commitments. Even a bad leader is better than an irresponsible one.

Don’t make this mistake. Be meticulous with your word and commit to seeing everything you start through—even if you have to force it. This way, you’ll lead by example and create a culture where everyone feels responsible for what they’re supposed to do.

image013A True Leader Listens

As a leader, you need people to listen to you. So, set an example by paying attention when it’s your staff’s turn to talk.

Remember, the people on your team don’t just look to you for orders. They also want support, attention, and feedback. In order to give them what they need in a useful and constructive manner a good place to start is by being a good listener.

Besides, a true leader understands the value of being a lifelong learner. Other than internal insights from your municipality, you can also learn a lot from the thought leaders in municipal government. One way to accomplish that is by meeting your peers at local conferences … like CAMA, AMO, OMHRA and many others.

image015A True Leader Has a Vision

In addition to sticking to the municipality’s long-term goals, a great leader should always have a vision for their department that’s motivating, simple and … one that includes EVERYBODY.

It is so important to remember that no matter how great you may be as a manager, your staff will never function fully reach their potential if they haven’t first bought into your vision.

image016A True Leader Promotes a Team Environment

A strong leader doesn’t just have good relationships with their staff, they also encourage the entire team to work together in a positive way. It’s the best way to ensure that they will to work together even when you’re not around.

In the absence of an encouraging and positive team environment, your staff is nothing more than a collection of individuals who report to you- all doing their own thing. Developing teamwork is, as a result, the KEY to getting people to work together as a cohesive unit all pulling together to achieve the same result.

image018A True Leader Sees the People and Not the Task

Now out-dated theories about marketing, viewed staff as simply so many cogs in a wheel. We are more advanced in our thinking in the 21st Century. Now we “get it” no two people are the same. And as individuals different people need different approaches in order to achieve great results … and it’s your responsibility as their leader to figure that out.

So, when you need to get something done, don’t just focus on the job at hand. Give some careful thought on who is the best person on your staff to do it well. Then, sort out how you can encourage them to do their best. So, the last quality of a True Leader is most definitely not least!

Bruce Malcolm

About the Author ()

Bruce's background includes 30+ years of human resource management experience covering all aspects of HR administration with a clear specialty in team building and recruiting. He created and developed the concept of “Ethical Head-Hunting™”. Bruce began his recruiting career in 1971 with Prudential Assurance.

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