What leadership qualities do the most effective managers posses that make them stand out from ordinary managers? You might think that it’s difficult to stand out given all the distractions of the day. However, there are easy ways to be exceptional simply by distinguishing yourself from the norm.
What is the norm today? Stress, anxiety, feeling overworked, complaining about how busy you are, putting too much on your plate, letting others down, impatience and overindulgence are the signs of our times.
As a leader, if you want to stand out in just try one of these five disciplines and make it part of your life. You will be noticed. In fact, you will be viewed as extraordinary.
Five Leadership Qualities That Will Make You Stand Out:
Keep Your Word
Lead by example by keeping your word. If you do what you say you are going to do you will build trust with your employees. Today’s fast paced world offers us many excuses to drop the ball including, “I didn’t see the e-mail, it went into my junk file, I just got swamped and time got away from me. Keeping your word requires you to quit making too many promises you can’t fulfill, doing a better job of scheduling, setting appropriate boundaries and padding your calendar a bit so you aren’t always rushed.
Master Your Talk about Time
How much time do you spend talking about how much time you don't have? What you are really saying when you talk about the lack of time is your inability to say "no" or your inability to make a choice. Stop talking about how busy you are and instead, simply say “no” to the things you don’t really want to do or delegate what you can. This will require you to give up your need for approval, (quit saying yes to every request) and to either take action or accept what is, but the payoff is that you will be happier, have more energy and have more time for what really matters.
One of the most important leadership qualities is to be present with your employees. If you can really be present with your employees while they are with you or even while on the phone with them, your workplace relationships and employee engagement will automatically increase. This new habit requires you to slow down, take a breath and give some eye contact.. And do not check email or your phone when you are with an employee. Believe me you will stand out if you have the discipline to do these things.
Maintain a Positive Demeanor
People will either think you are a bit crazy or they’ll be suspicious but you will definitely get some attention if you walk around with a happy smile. This leadership quality of maintaining a positive demeanor requires you to notice your body language, be a bit more patient and work on all those negative thoughts that manifest as a stressful frown or angry countenance. The benefit of maintaining a positive demeanor is that you create a safe environment that contributes to workplace trust.
Acknowledge Leadership Qualities in Others
It’s easy to notice where your employees fall short but do you acknowledge great teamwork? Do you acknowledge leadership strengths in others? What about customer service? Do you notice and acknowledge others who perform their job with excellence? Whether it’s the rep on the other end of the phone handling your credit card transaction, your mail carrier, your waitress, your employee, your own boss, or the ticket taker at the movie counter, get in the habit of acknowledging friendliness, efficiency, innovativeness, thoughtfulness and other character qualities and competencies of others. This will require you to quit thinking about yourself and your problems, and turn your focus to what is working. There is nothing like a little acknowledgement to improve workplace relationships and employee engagement.
My challenge to you is to pick one of the leadership qualities above and think about what is required to master the new habit. Take note of how your new discipline improves your self-image and helps you stand out as someone committed to excellence.
Marlene Chism is the author of Stop Workplace Drama. She helps managers and business leaders increase employee engagement, strengthen their leadership qualities, as well as improve negativity and low morale. Visit Stop Workplace Drama to learn the eight principles help leaders gain clarity and reduce workplace drama.