In order to talk about what I see as the main secret of a leader, I would like to start with my vision of the qualities that together give a leadership character.
For a start – sociability. A leader without a team (even if this team consists entirely of one himself) is nobody. He does not have people with whom he will work, and whom he will lead during his leadership. And in order for the team to work like a clock, it is necessary to achieve full trust and respect from each of its members. This can be done in a simple way – by listening (and hearing what is important), talking, observing. As a result of which, revealing what a person needs and what to offer him in order to arrange himself.
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Moreover, this should not be the so-called “purchase of location”, and this should be taken into account, because the line between “give the person what he asks for the sake of gaining his confidence” and “give the person what he wants for the sake of obtaining his submission ”Is very small. The “I am to you – you to me” scheme should not always be present, this also needs to be understood.
What I am talking about can be clearly illustrated with volleyball as an example. In this game, there is such a position as a binder. A member of the team located at this place plays the ball, passing passes to teammates and setting the course of the game. In order to understand at what moment and which pass to give to which team member, the binder must know each of the people standing on the field, know or see their preferences at the moment.
For this, in tandem, the team-binder must have unquestioning trust. It is possible to create these conditions only with the communication of the binder with each player, if not outside the field, then on it for sure. Moreover, communication should be both verbal (questions “how would you like to make a pass?”, “Was it convenient?”, Reassurance, praise) and non-verbal (passes in themselves, observation of players, encouraging smiles and actions). The best binder is the one who can achieve the desired result in working with the team a few minutes after the start of the game. And it will not depend on the degree of his abilities in the game itself, but on the ability to talk, hear and observe – yes.
Exactly the same actions should be carried out by any leader, only in a variant adapted to the situation. Then the support is provided.
Next is responsibility. Both the ability to take on and the ability to drag on yourself. If a person cannot be responsible for the actions of himself and the team, if he quits work halfway, then which of them is the leader.
I would say that primary is the ability to bear responsibility for what is done to the end.
Taking the same volleyball and the simplest clear example. Suppose there is player A. He, as the most adequate and encouraging in the team, is going to be appointed captain. Player A refuses. He is guided by one case from the past, when the team changed the coach and started a grueling training. Then player A was very weak in spirit and could not hold out for long after leaving the team. In the future, he returns, but is not ready to take up the position of captain, as he knows for sure that he can give up responsibility for the team halfway, having encountered certain difficulties. We cannot judge whether player A is acting correctly or not in this situation, we can only agree with his decision and accept that he knows himself better than others. Speaking personally of my opinion, I will agree with player A, because if you suspect that you will not be able to convey the responsibility given to you to the end, then you should not take it.
The second, but no less important sub-item is the assumption of responsibility both for oneself and for one’s team. Becoming a leader for people, you must clearly understand that by covering them with your wing of influence, you also take part of the responsibility for any of their failures, even if you do not belong to him in any way, and your failures grow doubly, because if the team is responsible if you alone are fully or individually, then you are responsible to each member of the team or to the team as a whole.
Continuing with illustrative volleyball examples, let’s take a situation where the team captain falls off with poisoning before an important match. Everything would be fine, but the poisoning happened due to the fact that yesterday at twelve in the night the captain, succumbing to his whim, ate dumplings, which had been lying in the freezer for many months. “There will be nothing from once,” he recalls in the morning his nightly thoughts, when he was completely twisted out of his stomach pain. This day the team loses an important match. First of all, due to the loss of support in the form of a leader behind their backs. Also, the libero – a member of the team whose goal is to beat off difficult serveings on the back line – did not sleep all night, because of which he could not concentrate and constantly missed the balls. Both for his mistake and for the mistake of a member of his team, the captain will have to answer to the coach, taking responsibility for the situation.
The next one is to talk about self-confidence and the ability to stay strong and calm in front of people, even when everything has already collapsed. A person always subconsciously feels the uncertainty of another person, so the ability to remain calm and balanced in absolutely any situation is incredibly important. After all, if even the leader is worried or doesn’t know something, then what can we say about the “simple member of the team”, how we subconsciously characterize ourselves, being in someone’s submission.
Taking the same situation that we took in the previous example. The first thing that the captain sees, returning from the coach – a libero knocked out of a rut. The captain is also disappointed and also terribly ashamed, but if he shows this, the team will fall apart. Then he settles in, makes himself smile and enters the hall. He sees how upset the team members are and begins to make an encouraging speech that this is not the last game, and everyone is mistaken. Not to say that he believed in it. Not to say that his teammates believed in this. But the captain speaks so enthusiastically, so confidently that he gradually convinces himself and others that everything is fine. Shake his voice for even a second – everything is gone. Thus, the mood of the captain determines the mood of the whole team. And just like that, the nature of the captain determines the nature of the team. The ability to keep oneself in check, exposing only the best sides is the success of a leader in this direction.
Another important quality is maintaining respect for oneself and others. If people in teams do not respect the leader, then his work cannot be done, because if people do not have respect for you, then they will not be able to listen, because they will not take what is said seriously. In the same way, one must understand that respect must be mutual. If a leader does not respect every member of his team, then what kind of leader is he?
Take another team and another captain. He is, of course, the best player on the field and listen to him, but out of the game he could not get respect. He did not show his definite situational superiority, did not give them a reason. He skips games that he considers uninteresting, names his own players, humiliates, is late, puts them on the table. In response, from his team, he receives what he gives them – a complete lack of respect. As he does not respect his people, so they do not respect him. And, of course, no one will listen to him, and he will not be able to cheer anyone up, and talk seriously when it is required. Just because he does not respect the team, and the team does not respect him.
And the last thing I would like to mention today is independence. This is also a very important quality of a leader. The leader must always do that work himself. Which falls on his shoulders, and sometimes even help members of his team do something. An important clarification is that you cannot do all the work for another person, but when he is confused or does not know what to do, the leader is obliged to take over a part and explain how to do it in the future. Sometimes a leader has to be independent in taking some actions – making important calls, writing and talking with different people, going to institutions, filling out papers, negotiating anything, and so on.
For example, a coach in a volleyball (and any other) team is also, although formal, but still a leader. He needs to negotiate training matches, competitions, fill out paperwork, find vehicles. He also, of course, teaches them, helps to understand what exactly needs to be done in a particular situation on the field. Sometimes he has to help the captain, because he can’t always cope with the task, so, it happens, the coach takes on his role. If there wasn’t a coach, and he wouldn’t do all this, then who would do it?
Of course, these are not all the qualities of a leader that exist, but, in my personal opinion, these are the main character traits that should definitely be present in every leader. Otherwise, he will not be able to cope with himself and the team.
So, I believe that the secret of a leader is the proper use, study, reinforcement and development of qualities that make him a leader. If you develop your abilities in these areas, then you almost automatically become a good leader. The most interesting thing is that there is a basis for these character traits in everyone, the main thing is simply to work on yourself. Developing the qualities inherent in us by nature, everyone can grow a leader in himself. I do this, developing every day. And you?