Over the past 25 years of my professional career, I’ve been exposed to numerous leadership styles, concepts, countless books, and a wide range of personalities. My experience with these various leadership styles, coupled with publications in which I have applied the content and found the direction to add value in my own endeavors, I was able to construct a “Top 10 List” of effective leadership traits. When you embrace these concepts, and implement then into your daily leadership routine, you will create a culture that people truly enjoy being a part of, and a culture that has firmly set itself in driving results.
1) Teach, coach, connect, communicate. As an effective leader, you have to connect with people on a level that invokes trust and respect. Effective teachers and coaches will continue to tap into the talents of their team, as long as they do a good job of capitalizing on coach-able opportunities. Being an effective communicator in relaying your message, and being able to connect with all levels of the organization is critical to your success.
2) Attract the right talent, replace the wrong people. Your success is determined by the people you surround yourself with. A great deal of care and effort needs to go into the building of your team. If you hire right the first time, your job and your results will be much more rewarding in the end. Understanding when you need to replace the wrong individual is also critical to your success. Once you’ve made that determination make sure you take swift action. Your team and your results will both benefit in the end.
3) Lead by example, work hard. Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves—and by which they are willing to be judged.
4) Doing what is right always comes back to you. Simplistic in nature, but often times one of the most miss-executed concepts of leadership. Live by this belief, and ultimately you will be rewarded.
5) Have vision for the future. You have to stay ahead of the game by setting forward thinking strategies. Be careful about living too much in the now. How will your actions, efforts and execution impact your organization 6 to 12 months from now? Where is your industry headed, where will your revenues come from next year, and how are you preparing yourself and your team for that change?
6) Be committed and passionate. Your team takes on the tone and pace of you as a leader. Always talk, work, and execute with great passion, and voice your personal commitment to the organization and the success of it. Your team is always watching you whether you realize it or not. Make sure you have an awareness of that.
7) Be proactive not reactive. Anticipate trends in the market, changes in your team, and the organizational change occurring around you. Prepare for worst, and stand headstrong in the face of adversity.
8) Have great integrity. Nothing so defines a person’s character as your integrity.
9) Be a positive motivator, build people’s confidence. Positive words and actions take so little time and effort to do, but yield monumental results in terms of the impact these actions have on your team. Try to leave every interaction throughout the organization in a positive sense. If you focus on this area, you’ll create a great “buzz” surrounding yourself in the process.
10) Never stop learning. Leaders aren’t born, they are made. The quicker you realize that you do not have all of the answers the better off you’ll be. Look to improve yourself through continued education and self-development. Always be looking to better yourself, and your results will follow.
Kyle Dietrich is Vice President – Originations at Westlake Financial Services. Previously, he was Senior Vice President – Production for Veros Credit in Santa Ana, CA. Kyle’s career also includes previous Vice President assignments with both Westlake Financial and Triad Financial. Follow him on LinkedIn.