By Tom Ottaiano, CEO, Today’s Business
My involvement in organized team sports helped me realize and uncover my potential as a leader. From the beginning, I was always great at uniting people both on and off the field. Years later, a lot has changed, but the fundamentals of my leadership mentality have not.
If you want to be a good leader, you need to master these qualities.
You won’t always be able to plan for everything that gets thrown at you throughout the day. A leader needs to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to many different situations. Every day, I wear so many different hats and have so many different tasks to accomplish and it takes a versatile person to be able to handle it all. Where there is leadership, there must also be adaptability.
Planning is important. Prepare for your meetings, do your research and stay updated on industry news and trends. One of the main components of leadership is preparing yourself for what’s to come. Every day I make a to-do list for myself and it always makes the day go smoother. Schedule out your day, and make sure that you’ve prepped for every meeting ahead of time. As a result, your stress levels will decrease and you’ll be a more effective leader.
Great leaders are always great communicators. In a business, communication is extremely important. One of my main jobs is to make sure that every single person in the company understands what their role is and how it adds to the bigger picture. It can often be difficult to communicate with different types of people. Being able to understand the person you are communicating with helps tremendously, on both the client and employee side of things.
In order to be an effective leader, you need to have the innate ability to articulate your vision and goals and show everyone just how passionate you are about your mission.
Everyone needs some sort of assurance that they’re doing a good job. Employee recognition and praise is one of the most important parts of being a leader, especially in a business setting. Keeping the team engaged and efficient starts with valuing and acknowledging what they’ve accomplished.
The leader's job is to lift people up versus take people down. Today, please affirm the value of all those around you.— Robin Sharma (@RobinSharma) February 22, 2016
Positive visualization is key. It’s important to think of the positive outcome for whatever you need to accomplish. A leader’s attitude sets the tone for everything. When an environment is negative, the results within the company will be a reflection of that. I make it my priority to stay positive because that’s what makes for the most productive work environment.
What sets a leader apart from everyone else is their ability to see things from a high-level view. The big picture is essentially the future of any business or endeavor.
Having a vision is not just about having a plan. It’s about seeing where your company will be in one year, five years and ten years down the road and knowing how everything will fall into place to get there.