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Become a Brilliant Leader

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Are dynamic leaders born or made? Any successful company or cause has one thing in common, brilliant leadership. Some organizations tend to confuse leadership with management and that's when a company's passion, productivity and relationships can hit a plateau. Sometimes mediocre performance can be an indication that subtle reorganization is needed within your company. When coaching corporate clients, one of the first things I do is encourage them to invest in a highly structured, reputable assessment test such as: DISC, 360 Degree, 16PF, Jung or Briggs Meyers to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their people. These various methods of assessment can offer advanced analysis, which is a good tool to use, when building or restructuring an effective and successful team.

A good leader has the ability to see potential and gifts within their staff and establish roles accordingly. The key elements of being able to operate a thriving and successful business is to know who belongs where and have the courage and foresight to make a change when necessary. Oftentimes, someone might be a great manager and able to manage a budget, but that same person may not have the skills necessary to inspire their team. The difference between leading and managing is that managers are focused on processes, methods and efficiency whereas leaders are focused more on purpose, motivation and vision.

The success of a company can rise or fall depending on the leadership. These are the 10 critical skills it takes to be a brilliant leader:

1. Communication: Communication is more than just being a good speaker. Being a good communicator also requires being able to listen and understand at a core level. Create an atmosphere of transparency in your organization to build trust and rapport.

2. Integrity: Living with integrity in your personal and professional life means leading by example as well as expectation. Keeping your word, being on time, speaking your truth and knowing your limits are just a few ways to live with integrity.

3. Decisive: The ability to decipher key data/information in order to make swift and calculated decisions without wavering. To have the confidence necessary to make important decisions without having all of the information at hand in order to accomplish a goal.

4. Delegation: A team can only prosper and flourish when empowered to make decisions. The ability to set clear objectives for your team to accomplish within a reasonable timeline is essential. Allow your managers the responsibility of managing the project and their team. The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses within your management structure to recognize gifts within your team so that each individual's talents are utilized to full potential.

5. Strategic Thinking: A leader has to have a disciplined ability to focus with a clear and open mind in order to plan, act and make changes to their idea when needed.

6. Generous Collaboration: Knowing when to allow input from other sources and how to incorporate those suggestions purposefully. It is equally important to know when it is time to shut the door to new ideas so that you can move forward toward your mission.

7. Vision: A striking ability to see through mired reality and understand the "big picture" with a clear intention of what the end-result should be.

8. Approachability: Be available to your customers and team. No one wants to work for the Wizard of Oz, the "man behind the curtain" or have the stigma that the person in charge requires a harrowing journey to reach.

9. Acknowledgement: You may appreciate your team members, but do you let them know that? Showing appreciation and gratitude to both your customers and your team can go a long way. A good leader knows the value in offering a "thank you" or a sincere "good job" when deserved. When someone goes the extra mile, celebrate their success and see how it can help them blossom under the glow of your leadership.

10. Resolve: No matter how great your team may be there are bound to be bumps in the road--how a leader handles the crisis is what matters. The ability to take concise action while maintaining understanding for all sides toward a mutually beneficial outcome is paramount.

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