Leaders have the responsibility and challenge to create an environment of respect, productivity and complete all the work they must do. There are eight qualities that are common among leaders who are able to accomplish these things.
You’ve just been promoted and are now a new leader. Now
the real work begins. You want your employees to do great
work and ﬁnd ways to bring out the best they have to offer.
You want your team to respect and not fear you—to feel at
any time they can turn to you for advice and guidance. How
can you achieve all this and still do your own day-to-day work?
3. qualities you should strive for
when leading great work. These qualities will not
only help you, but will also inspire and
encourage great results.
5. 1. BE A GREAT
Communication is essential in any relationship. Make sure you
establish clear paths of communication with your employees
and make time for regular check-ins. Part of communication
is being approachable. Create an environment
where employees feel comfortable asking you
questions and asking for help when needed.
Here are three questions to keep in mind as
you communicate any project to your team:
What is it I’m really asking my employees to do?
Why am I asking my employees to do this?
What am I really expecting my employees to do?
As you clearly express to your employees the answers to
these questions, they’ll better understand what they are
being asked to do.
7. 2. BE
Being upfront and open with the work that your employees
are assigned to—and your expectations of the outcomes—is
important in establishing a trustworthy relationship.
Communicate often and openly to stop rumors or uncertainty.
If you’re behind on your goals and changes
need to be made, let them know. If the company
needs to make budget cuts, let them know.
Help your employees feel conﬁdent with the
work they’re doing by keeping them in the loop.
8. Lead out in establishing a culture that recognizes
great work. As you appreciate your
employee’s efforts, you’ll see them rise to the
next occasion. In fact, a recent study found
that of all the things companies do—raises,
promotions, beneﬁts, on-site gyms, and
more—recognition signiﬁcantly rose to the top as
the number one thing that “caused” people to do great work.
3. BE A GREAT
9. “I really appreciate sincere appreciation and
recognition. I am paid to do a job – I agreed to the
job for my salary. Salary doesn’t drive my motivation.
I appreciate it and like it, but it doesn’t make me
perform any better.”
—2014 Cicero Research Study participant
10. Here are ﬁve tips to remember to ensure
your recognition is meaningful:
1 Be timely. Recognize as close to the moment as possible.
2 Be speciﬁc. Call out exactly what they did and keep the
recognition in context.
3 Recognize in the appropriate volume/scale.
4 Focus on being authentic rather than automatic.
5 Make sure it’s tied to the employee’s perception of value.
11. Let’s face it, you’ve been put into a leadership position
because you’re good at what you do. Take this opportunity
to share your insights and show your employees new ways
to approach their work. Hold training meetings and lunch
roundtables, giving everyone the opportunity to share best
practices and learn from each other. Create an overall
atmosphere of encouragement, collaboration, and
4. BE A GREAT
12. Honesty is right up there with transparency when it comes
to critical leadership qualities. Help employees see that they
will beneﬁt from being honest in the work place.
Everyone makes mistakes, but if you create an
environment where employees feel safe to admit
their mistakes, everyone beneﬁts.
5. BE UPFRONT
13. 6. PRACTICE
Show your employees you value the work they
do by treating them fairly. If one of your
employees excels at something and would be
better suited for a project than a more senior
member of the team, help them work together.
As you encourage fairness across the board,
your employees will have greater respect for you.
14. ...AND DONT PLAY FAVORITES
Playing favorites will get you nowhere. It will leave
your team members frustrated and upset that they
are not getting the same opportunities. Promote
equality by encouraging and advocating your
employees whether they are your favorite or not.
15. Setting goals for improvement will help your team grow and
learn more. Make it a standard to learn new things and give
others opportunities to share their talents through trainings
and seminars. A spirit of collaboration will encourage your
employees to teach one another and develop new talents.
And of course, creating an atmosphere of innovation and
growth beneﬁts everyone.
16. “As a company grows, it must change, and those
changes are only possible when employees take
on new challenges, expand their capabilities,
cultivate new behaviors, and entertain new ideas.
In other words, companies grow when the people
inside them grow ﬁrst.”
17. Inspire your employees to achieve great things. Take the
necessary time to get to know each person on your team
and ﬁnd out what they’re passionate about, what they
love to do and not do. Use this knowledge to
help your employees excel and become
involved in projects where they’ll want to do
their best work.
18. In Dr. Kevin and Dr. Jackie Freiberg’s book, Do Something
Now they discuss “seven things the most successful leaders
frequently say” to inspire great work among their employees.
1 “Here’s our plan.”
2 “What do you need?”
3 “Tell me more.”
4 “Way to live our values.”
5 “You can count on me.”
6 “We can do better.”
7 “Let’s celebrate!”
19. All and all, embrace these eight qualities and you will
become an exceptional leader—a leader who takes their
team to new heights and greatness. In essence: you’ll
become the leader your employees love to love.
21. O.C. TANNER AND
THE O.C. TANNER INSTITUTE
O.C. Tanner, number 40 on the 2015 FORTUNE 100 Best
Companies to Work For® list, helps organizations inspire and
appreciate great work. Thousands of clients globally use the
company’s cloud-based technology, tools, and awards to
provide meaningful recognition for their employees. The O.C.
Tanner Institute regularly commissions research and provides
a global forum for exchanging ideas about recognition,
engagement, leadership, culture, human values, and sound