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Things That Successful Leaders Do Differently

8 min read
successful leaders

Running a business is tough. There are some conditions which make it easier but the overall conditions remain tough. A high-pressure work environment is often seen to be the trend of most business corporations. However, there are some corporations where the leaders go a step beyond the usual and make their mark on their teams. Such efforts make these leaders stand out from the rest and make them successful in their endeavors. When you are in a position of power it is easy to get carried away and forget that people need to be handled with respect as individuals. But, when you focus on developing the people you lead, the results could be phenomenal.

1. Successful leaders build a sense of pride and ownership in their work

successful leaders

We all know about Elon Musk and his devotion towards his companies. In an interview, he said, “If you are a manager or leading at any level at SpaceX, we stress that your team is not there to serve you. You are there to serve your team and help them do the best possible job for the company.” He added, “This applies to me most of all.” People at his company look up to him as a successful leader and they see that even though he could just sit comfortably and let them do all the work, he indulges in the daily on-goings of his company and helps his team perform and excel.

2. They make time for work as well as play and celebrations

successful leaders

There’s nothing frivolous about business. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be all work and very serious. It is often seen that successful leaders make time for personal interactions and more importantly, celebrate successes, accomplishments and loyalty. When a leader takes time out to celebrate important individual milestones and accomplishments, it shows people that the organization cares about them. This can be a powerful motivator in going the extra mile and also create a deep sense of belonging. In the long run it not only boosts performance but also brings down attrition that can prove expensive for any organization.

3. Inculcating a culture of positive feelings

Organization culture percolates from the leadership level. So, when leaders foster a culture of excellence through rewarding successes the culture becomes more positively oriented. Consequently people are open to taking on higher roles and responsibilities and also doing things that are out of their comfort level.

4. Recognizing effort regardless of the result

Successful leaders

In the business world particularly, risk taking should be celebrated but more often than not, it is not. Usually it is outcomes and achievements that are recognized even if the effort was far lower. Tata’s ‘Dare to Try’ award showcases sincere and audacious attempts at innovation that failed to deliver the desired results. The important thing here is that it recognizes the spirit of entrepreneurship and intense efforts that have gone into the venture regardless of the outcomes. This motivates them to go above and beyond the call of duty.

5. Successful leaders treat their team as people and not just work machines

Employees are people and regardless of their position in their organization want to be treated as people and not commodities or numbers. However, not all organizations recognize this and this is reflected in their growing attrition rate and low employee satisfaction quotient. Some leaders on the other hand drive a culture of employee recognition and treat employees as people and individuals. This in turn drives motivation and stellar performance as well. When people are treated as individuals the way they respond and perform is very different from what it is when they are treated as commodities to be used.

6. Taking responsibility for the failures

Effective leadership is the single most important factor in any team’s performance. The success or failure of a team is all up to the leader. The leader’s attitude often sets the tone for the entire team. Quite often the leader drives performance—or non-performance. When you have a leader who steps forward to take responsibility for outcomes knowing that you have put in your best and does not allow you to be penalized for something that you couldn’t accomplish despite your best efforts, you tend to give your best.

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