Finance News & Insights

Hone these two traits and people will want to follow you

Some leaders develop relationships with their staffers and get good results.

Others are more businesslike, keeping personal lives to themselves, and that also works.

There’s no one-size-fits-all rulebook for leading people. But there are two indispensable traits that successful leaders show in spades:

  • credibility, and
  • communication skills.

1. Earning credibility

  • When you make promises, deliver.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Or promises that you’d like to keep, but can’t guarantee.
  • Keep your word. That goes for projects you say you’ll handle, discussing a staffers’ problems, etc.
  • Set high expectations for the job you do.
  • Be the first person in the door each morning, and don’t be the first one out the door at the end of the day.
  • Take the heat for team mistakes and share the praise with staff for jobs well done.

2. No communication breakdowns

  • When you can share info that your peole care about, let them know. ASAP.
  • Tell the truth, even when it might “bring people down” or hurt morale.
  • Don’t vent about issues with clients, other departments, etc., with your staffers.
  • Keep your door open. Closed doors make some people think you can’t be bothered. They can also make some people worry in this rough economy.
  • Say “hello” first when you see staffers. That lets people know you’re up front and available to talk, any time.


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