“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell. Authentic Leaders can be identified by the types of fruits they bear. A true leader can have an incredible impact on both an environment and people. When good leadership is in place, it can be felt throughout the entire organization. Where true leadership exists, the following will not be far behind.
1. Long Tenure
Longevity with an organization is an undeniable indicator of effective leadership. As the saying goes, “Employees don’t quit working for companies. They quit working for their leaders”. Employees will stay with organizations longer when they have a leader who values and respects them. Where you see a lot of longevity in an organization, department or region, you can directly attribute that longevity to the loyalty and respect that the employees have for that leader. Ask yourself, “Am I a leader who earns the loyalty and commitment of my employees?” If you have any desire of preventing an employee revolving door … you had better have a solid, honest answer.
Inspired employees or a lack there of, often depends on the leaders within an organization. Many in leadership positions expect that employees will follow them simply because of their title, their company ownership, or their place in the organization’s hierarchy. And, while most employees have no choice but to “follow” the direction of their leader, that does not mean that the leader inspires their best work, support, and contribution. An organization with inspired employees will have employees who want to be and do their best and to use their skills to their fullest potential to accomplish the goals of the organization. Effective leaders have the ability to communicate and demonstrate passion, purpose, and meaning to employees and in turn helps establish the inspirational culture of an organization.
3. Top Talent Magnet
The quality of an organization’s leadership is the most important factor in attracting and retaining high-quality employees. Those in leadership positions create and carry their own brand identity and reputation and over time that will reveal itself to be either one that is honorable and inspiring or disrespectful and devoid of integrity. Top talent will be pulled into an organization by strong leadership brands and reputations, whereas in the alternative, poor leadership will repel top talent. Companies with great leaders often have a much easier time convincing talent to come and stay there.
4. High Morale
Anyone who holds a position of authority has a direct or indirect impact on the attitude and behaviors of an organization’s employees. This is the reason why poor leadership is such a liability. Leaders inevitably set the tone for whether employee morale is positive or negative. Effective leaders who challenge, motivate, empathize, respect and appreciate their employees will create a high morale environment in their workplaces. When employees have confidence in their leadership high morale will be prevalent throughout the organization.
5. More Leaders
The key attribute of a successful leader is their ability to develop better leaders and lead others to their full potential. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” When you see an organization that has a pipeline of future leaders at all levels you know that it is an organization whose leadership has prioritized grooming and developing others. Effective leadership understands the importance of developing the future leaders of the organization.
Great leaders have impact — the kind that is visible by the fruits surrounding them and the resulting brand of their organization. Instead of searching far and wide for a magic formula to success, organizations need to realize that the answer lies right inside their organization – its leadership. Effective leadership is a powerful competitive advantage.