Leadership is the one word you should be concerned with when trying to get something to work. The leader dictates direction, focus and the ethos of the team. Without someone with social and moral qualities, your team will fall apart like a badly manufactured shoe; it will start off strong, but then very quickly condescend into chaos and fall apart. When heading a new start-up, or managing an already existing community, you HAVE to be a good leader. Without being a good leader, your project will lead to disorganization, which will ultimately jeopardize your whole operation. On top of this, you will lack respect from your co-workers, which will make them more unproductive and less motivated. These factors are what lead to 90% of community closures and drama.
Below, I will go over the basics of leadership, and what most people think the ideal leader should be.
I hypothesize two types of leader:
The inclusive leader is one of great charisma and charm. They do not rule by fear, but by establishing themselves as a well-liked individual who gets along with all the members of their team. This way, the members are more motivated and feel like they are operating in a more stress-free and communal environment. This means they are more likely to produce higher quality and more creative work, with the trade-off of a late hand in.
The exclusive leader still has charisma, but is more brutal in their approach. Even though still being fair, they rule with an iron fist and are not afraid to make enemies if it is for the benefit of the project. People respect them and they show respect back, but if someone disrespects them there will be no hesitation of removal. It will feel more like a business environment, which means the employees will work at a tighter schedule, with the potential compromise of quality and creativity.
A team with maximum efficiency will have a leader with a mix of these two extremes, or two leaders each sporting a different leadership style.
I asked eight people what they believed qualities of a great leader are:
- ‘Well, If you’re talking a Democratic leader, You would listen to everyone’s views before have a vote/plebiscite to decide something within the clan’
- ‘A good leader is a humble leader, he should display an inspiring image to those he commands and he should lift everyones confidence and treat everyone equal.’
- ‘A good leader should have a good character in general, so they should be able to adapt to certain situations. They should also be able to relate to the people they are leading. I believe they also need to be strong, and have the ability to move on or continue.’
- ‘Strong and decisive, with a good balance of an iron fist and forgiveness. They must also make a strong friendly bond with their agents, but not become too close so that their work is hindered.’
- ‘In my opinion, a good leader consists of: Knowing what your doing, A person that can take pressure, A smart mind, Confidence.’
- ‘A good leader consists of, great knowledge of his goals, good teamwork, knowing how to share responsibility in a way that not one person is left out or ignored, and equality; not just for his workers, but for everyone.’
- ‘A leader who get involved in his employees discussions and tries to listen to what they have to say. If a suggestion comes up they take it into consideration even if they don’t like it. A leader who fights for his business and tries to provide the best experience for his employees. A leader who does the job and does not hand over the dirty work to his employees instead he takes it into his hands and leads the business in the right direction.
- ‘A good leader should not make all his decisions on his own. A leader should take the time to listen to his employees and take a minute to hear them out. Sometimes another input can be useful.’
In these responses, there seem to be multiple reoccurring themes…
Listen to Everyone’s Views
This is self-explanatory. If you do not listen, you come across as a dictator, and people will start to become unhappy. If this behavior continues, a mutiny against your authority may rise; you believe it won’t happen, but it more than often does if the whole team is not happy. On top of this, people will like you more as you seem engaged.
Don’t be cocky. Respect your place and acknowledge many people may not be as skilled or knowledgeable as you.
Be upbeat. If you are moody and constantly upset, this will sublimate into your team. The best way to lift the spirit of a situation that is going wrong is to act like it isn’t; it is hard, but it is a quality the best leaders possess, which is what makes their teams so effective.
Do not be Clingy
Don’t ponder on your mistakes. Learn from them and continue on.
Sometimes a democratic approach can complete a whole new problem of its own. If there is a split vote, make a call; you can’t be blamed for wanting to speed up the process of getting something done.
A good leader has to know what they’re doing. Do not lead something you have no idea about, as you will hold those below you back.
A leader should not do all of the work, that is why they have a team. By the same token, a leader should not do no work; they have to help and contribute to the team effort. This is the biggest mistake I see leaders commit. Make sure this is not you.
This is one I’ve been the receiver of. If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT; stick to your word. Don’t go and get a job at McDonalds and leave your team in the dust.
So now you are one step closer to becoming a better leader. Incorporate these steps into your operations and your team productivity and efficiency will sky rocket!