Being a leader is more than just carrying authority. Great leaders build relationships, serve their employees, and influence future development opportunities. True leadership inspires and motivates, creates vision and develops the path to achieve it, and encourages employees to have a voice in the company.
In fact, a good leader helps a company and its employees flourish. There are few things that are more detrimental to a company than a poor leader. Bad leadership can lead to increased turnover and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Recent surveys found that 57% of unhappy workers left their jobs due to their bosses and bad leadership.
The four pillars of leadership is a concept that helps leaders lead effectively. These are:
- Emotional Intelligence
These four pillars of leadership are important for creating strong companies. For a business to thrive, a true leader must inspire employees to come together with a clear path and vision for the future.
The Leadership Pillar
The leadership pillar is a concept that refers to the foundation of effective leadership. An effective leader is someone who displays qualities such as integrity, accountability, and transparency. Effective leaders influence and inspire others to improve and be better every day. Some examples of inspiring leaders are Dr. Martin Luther King, who inspired generations of people to fight for civil rights and Mahatma Gandhi, who encouraged a non-violent movement to drive colonizers out of India.
The Four Pillars of Effective Leadership
The four key pillars of effective leadership include vision, emotional intelligence, communication, and resilience. Having a strong and effective leader involves utilizing these pillars of leadership to inspire, motivate, and guide their team toward success. So what do these pillars mean, and how are they essential for success?
Having a vision that is clear and well-communicated is essential for many leaders to be able to foster support, enthusiasm, and commitment in organizations. Creating a clear vision provides a strategy for meeting goals and keeping companies and employees thriving.
A developed vision provides direction, purpose, and focus. To do this, a great leader can start by communicating with the team and setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Involving the team in the development of the vision is also a great way to improve personal development and relationship building within the organization.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to perceive, interpret, demonstrate, and be open to using emotions to communicate with others. Having strong emotional intelligence is important for inspiring people. Great leadership can use techniques like active listening, increasing self-awareness, and using empathy to build stronger emotional intelligence.
This type of intelligence is essential for interpersonal communication, creating a culture of respect and understanding, and knowing why we do the things we do. Some experts say that having strong EQ may be more important than IQ because it helps create strong social communication and helps us understand and relate to others.
Effective communication in a good leader can help to build trust and relationships with team members. Strong communication can empower employees, inspire positive change, and align company goals.
To improve communication skills, leaders can practice active listening, constructive feedback, and using clear and concise language. Active listening provides the opportunity to pay attention to really hear what another person is saying and then be able to respond thoughtfully.
Being open to receiving feedback and giving feedback is also important to improve communication as it allows team members to understand expectations, feel open to making suggestions, and make improvements. Finally, using clear and concise language can help to avoid misunderstandings and improve overall communication.
Resilience in true leaders is not only about how they handle the good times but more about how they perform during difficult times. Leaders who are resilient are better able to overcome challenges and grow stronger in the face of setbacks. Resilience taps into the ability to help others transition during tough times of change, manage stress, and reflect confidence.
To build resilience, leaders can practice self-care techniques, create strong support networks, and re-frame negative thoughts. Self-care techniques such as exercise and meditation serve as a way to remain calm and stress-free in the face of uncertainty.
Creating strong support networks provide resources for open conversations and help cope with problems. Re-framing negative thoughts is a mindset tool in which negative thoughts can be replaced by more helpful ones. Re-framing negative thoughts changes the mindset towards positivity and improves confidence.
Inspiring Leaders and Their Vision
Many inspiring managers and leaders learn to lead by aligning their personal and professional values. To do this, an effective leader must be aware of their personal values and how to use those to build teams, skills, and a culture of respect. When personal and organizational values align, the company tends to work better together, and employees tend to be happier and more inspired to do their jobs well.
When a leader’s personal vision is aligned with the organization’s vision, it can improve overall team performance and motivation and lead to greater success. Many inspiring leaders have used their vision to guide their leadership and achieve their goals. An example of this is Nelson Mandela, whose vision was to improve the lives of his people and for freedom and equality. He used his vision to become South Africa’s first black president in their first democratic election and helped to end apartheid.
Another person whose personal and professional values aligned was Mother Theresa. She used her vision for helping others to improve poverty and suffering by opening clinics and orphanages across India.
These are just a couple of examples of historical visionaries who used their strong leadership skills to strengthen, empower, and better the lives of others.
Having A Leader’s Vision
Having a leader’s vision is the ability to utilize the pillars of leadership to build up and empower those around you. It’s about the mindset of leading with purpose, which provides direction, focus, and motivation. Having a leader’s vision can guide a team toward success. The best way to develop the vision of an effective leader is to clearly communicate the ideas of the vision and involve team members in the development process. While also regularly revisiting the process to continue to ensure that the vision still meets the team’s values, goals, and objectives.
True leadership means creating an environment of trust, responsibility, and accountability. It’s about leading with honesty and openness, as well as learning to empower and trust team members. Using the pillars of leadership: vision, communication, emotional intelligence, and resilience can make the difference between a manager and a leader.
Communicating and providing a clear strategy for meeting goals, understanding the feelings and needs of others, being accountable and open to communication, and facing challenges with resilience are the pillars of true leaders.
What steps can you take to improve your leadership skills? Start today by stepping out of your comfort zone, being open to failure, and creating a vision.