In analyzing many company surveys which reflect what employees consider most important regarding the company they work for, the vision and reputation of its leader gets the highest marks, in many cases, even above company culture. Others will note the workplace environment. Brand image is beginning to come in as secondary in importance, in China, for example.
Clearly, one of the main reasons for which many staff members choose to remain within a company is being under the command of an excellent leader.
My question is then, what defines a good leader?
Personally, and coinciding with many, I believe the secret lies in being able to adopt the greatest number possible of leadership styles, according to the situation faced. This can be achieved after years of experience, but regrettably, we will never receive a title for this ability.
A good leader should be clear that inflexibility goes against leadership.
A good leader uses the different leadership styles, at different moments, with ease and effectiveness. We could call this leader an Innovator in his own right, as within a single day he conscientiously finds the way to use multiple styles as a situation might call for.
Leaders make decisions, confront and resolve crisis. Leaders put their team first. They handle tough situations, often without the time to think. In hotel openings for example, leaders are often those who must take decisive action, and rely on a Coercive Leadership style to make sure deadlines and goals are met. A good leader might incline towards a single leadership style within the day to day operation, but does not only remain within this single style.
A good leader never deviates from the objectives, mission and culture of the company they represent. How can your hotel remain faithful to its mission if the person in charge and representing them contradicts the principals that guide it?
For those eyeing their entrance into the world of Leadership, start by asking yourself: What kind of leader do I wish to be? How can I become an effective leader? How can I develop leadership abilities?
I find that the best answers to these questions can be found by knowing yourself, learning from the past, learning from mistakes and accomplishments – your own natural tendencies and innate talents.
Questions and comments welcomed.