We all want to be leaders; it is amazing to see one person grasp the attention of an audience so powerfully. Good leaders inspire, motivate and ignite a spark of change in us. We have all looked up to certain leaders and thought ‘I want to be that person’. That is the mark of a true leader. While it may look effortless, being a leader is hard work.
Some people are born to be natural leaders. They have inherent traits that naturally make them good leaders. Other people can practice and sharpen their leadership skills over time and also become great leaders. It takes a certain set of quality traits to classify as a good leader. Whether it is a leader of the country, workplace or any informal group, all leaders should have these qualities to be great.
The mark of a great leader is in the way he/she carries themselves. A leader will always show confidence, even in tough situations just so other people can feel inspired. If a leader seems confident, the people under him will also stay motivated.
No one should feel left out. Good leaders value inclusiveness and make everyone feel part of the group or organization. It is in human nature to want to feel accepted and included and making that happen for people is what a great leader does.
While it’s good to make other people accountable for their work and mistakes, it is even better to hold yourself accountable as well. A leader should take their share of the credit and blame. It makes people think that leaders are humans as well and there is always room for error sometimes.
Not many people can look at the bigger picture or have the drive to strive for great things. Great leaders have a futuristic vision and know how to think ahead with clear goals and a plan. A vision without a purpose is like a car without a steering, useless. Leaders make their visions turn into reality through careful planning.
A tyrannical leader will not get much work done. Fear only works to a certain extent. People respond to kindness, compassion and understanding. It is much easier to get work done once you make a connection with your subordinates. An effective leader will listen to his/her subordinates problems and help them in dealing with their problems.
This is a two-way street, once a leader communicates well, the group will also respond to it and communicate its concerns to their leader. However communication is about listening as well. The ability to listen and understand is also what distinguishes a good leader from a great one.
These are some important traits that every leader should have and practice on them to become even better. However one important element every great leader, especially in the workplace should have is diversity.
What is diversity?
Diversity is the quality of being diverse i.e. open to variety. Embracing the uniqueness in everything and everyone and being open to change.
Diversity in the workplace
It refers to the hiring of people from different educational and cultural backgrounds. It refers to the inclusion of diverse people in the organization. People of diverse races, ethnicities, gender and sexuality and so on and so forth.
Why is it important?
Diversity brings about a good environment in the workplace. It also boosts the reputation of an organization and these days people value a company that is diverse in all areas. It attracts more people to apply and it keeps a healthy balance. It even broadens the search for people and you have a vast range of talents you can choose from. It is not an easy task, and even after years of trying many companies are still trying to instill diversity as a norm in their work culture.
Leaders and Diversity
Diversity in the workplace should not just be on a hiring level, but leaders in the workplace should promote it as well. An organization performs better once diversity is included on all levels. Diverse leaders can change the complete dynamics of an organization and bring about a positive change. Here are a few reasons why leaders value the importance of diversity:
Leaders encourage diversity because it lets others maintain their own individuality, people do not get overshadowed when there is a diverse culture. Everyone has a key role to play and diversity ensures that everyone shines in their own way. A diverse group performs better than one that is not.
The more diverse your group, the more creative minds are present. Having a diverse team encourages more creative solutions to problems and creates a culture of innovation. An organization needs different minds and perspectives if it wants to grow in the long run.
Leads to higher profits
McKinsey & Company carried out a research and in the reports it was concluded that companies who have diverse teams also generate more profit. This just goes to show that a good workplace environment and team can help a company in performing better in all aspects.
Employee turnover decreases
As new generations keep on entering the workplace, the most important thing to them is the work culture. If a company provides its employees an inclusive environment and makes them feel valued then employee retention increases and less people leave the company every year.
A diverse work culture is what makes people stay and a leader who’s willing to accept that diversity is needed is the one that can bring about a positive change. Good leaders value a diverse environment and culture as it helps people thrive and stay inspired. They take initiatives to maintain such a culture, this helps in attracting the best talent from the pool and helping the company prosper. A great leader knows the importance of diversity and what it brings to the table. Anything which is limited will have restrictions, but anything that has more variety offers chances of growth and that is the secret every great leader knows.