Great leadership can be an invaluable tool that, when used correctly, can hone a group into a highly effective team. I recently asked my Facebook Community to describe a great leader in one word. Some of the terms that came up in the conversation were responsible, serving, motivating and inspirational. By using some of these examples we can find ways to improve our own leadership skills.

A great leader leads from the front.

A leader who is visible and doesn’t stay behind the scenes “pulling strings” inspires a team much more effectively. The leader is responsible and answers for the results (good or bad) of his or her team. Passing the buck will only lead to less motivation and poor outcomes.

A great leader always has the team’s back and provides comfort outside the comfort zone.

As a leader you want your team’s best shot every time. A team that knows their leader will always support and defend them when they work hard and do their best will continue to give great effort. Mistakes will be made. This is a fact of life. By using mistakes as an opportunity to improve rather than a reason for punishment, your team will strive for better performances each chance they get.

A great leader is empowering and listens.

Encouraging your team to brainstorm together and ask questions builds self-confidence.  The part that translates into better performance is a leader who is approachable and ready to consider these new ideas and listen to these questions. Team members that have the confidence to share new ideas and ask important questions are the ones that help the team improve.

This may sound like a leader needs to everywhere at once all the time. I know I’ve felt this way, and I’m sure you have too. The important thing is to understand where to be and when to be there. By being engaged with your team, you will understand and know when they need someone to lead the way and when they need someone to fall back on. Just make sure you stay ready for whatever the situation calls for!