Organizational leaders aim to do what is best for both the individual and the organization as a whole. They work to empower employees at every level, applying their understanding of personality, relationships, the work ethic, business and a leadership mindset to help ensure success for the company and its people.
Characteristics of a leadership mindset include seeing disagreement as a key factor in learning, viewing challenges and failures as opportunities for growth and recognizing underperforming employees as individuals who need support to tap into their potential. The following additional characteristics of a strong organizational leader can help forge relationships between leaders and employees.
1. Empathy for Coworkers
Any leadership mindset requires empathy. This means that you develop an understanding, not only of how you view the world, but also of how others do. You look through the lens of others’ situations to define their strengths and understand their point of view. The empathy you practice when working with people with different perspectives allows you to consider how varying attitudes, beliefs and backgrounds can unite to build a strong foundation in a company. Someone with a leadership mindset knows that diversity can create a strong company—as the synergy of different viewpoints can culminate in innovation.
2. Recognizing Excellence
Organizational leaders build on the strengths of the people around them. Strength comes from talent, knowledge and skills. Building strength in a certain area involves a natural interest in that area and the ability to practice or learn on a regular basis. It is a leader’s responsibility to encourage employees to hone their strengths in different areas and to recognize and reward progress. A team is only as strong as its weakest member, so this job is vitally important to the success of the organization as a whole.
3. Maintaining Strong Ethics
Ethics may be one of the most important qualities of a leadership mindset. An organizational leader must always balance success and outcome with truth and loyalty. Ethics in the workplace are the foundation of how an organizational leader processes and approaches a problem. Sometimes, organizational leaders need to be impartial when dealing with an ethical issue, but this does not mean they are disengaged. Instead, they must actively seek the truth to navigate what is right and what is questionable with the goal of promoting organizational integrity.
4. Creating Connection
Great leaders know how to communicate to encourage organizational development. They use speaking, listening and writing as a way to connect with people, both within their organization and outside their walls. A leadership mindset prioritizes choosing the mode of communication that best meets the needs of the person who will receive the message. In addition, an organizational leader considers people's values, beliefs and expectations when sharing a message. One of the most important elements of connecting with employees is listening. Actively engaging with what people have to say lets them know their contributions are valuable.
To sum up, strong organizational leaders encourage excellence in the workplace, value communication and connection as a way to build trust and work collaboratively toward what’s best for the organization.
If you are ready to grow your leadership skills, apply for a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Entrepreneurship or consider an EdD in Organizational Leadership at Grand Canyon University today.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.