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Fidelity Business Blog: Post

How To Tell If You’re A Great Leader and A Guide To Become One

  • Posted April 27, 2021

Perhaps Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, says it best, "Leadership is lifting a person's vision to high sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitation."

It may be a fact that a strong leader is critical for the survival of a small business and especially true in today's uncertain economic state. However, how can you tell if you're a great leader? More importantly, what makes a great leader? Is a great leader someone who takes charge, nurtures, or inspires? The answer here is a resounding "yes." A great leader is someone who can adjust their approach to inspire change and growth beyond the moment.

Find out what tack your leadership style takes and learn about other directions you can maneuver to round out your leadership chops.

Take The Leadership Quiz

Does your leadership have a certain style? Are you influenced by internal factors such as your personality type? As an example, outgoing personalities usually lean toward being people-oriented leaders. However, it may also be shaped by external factors such as the type of business you operate.

Find out which leadership style you're drawn to by taking this 12-question quiz from MindTools. Each question poses a leadership challenge and provides three solutions for you to consider. Upon completion, click "calculate my total" to determine your dominant leadership method. You'll be provided a summary of your style and given topics to address opportunities.

Your Leadership Toolkit

Based on an early leadership theory that's refined over the years, the key takeaway to this quiz is this: Even though we usually gravitate toward a certain style, leaders have to be flexible to other approaches based on what's needed in particular situations. In essence, leaders need to broaden their leadership toolkit.

Here's a sample of a few leadership styles and when to move to that approach:

  • By the book – In this method, leaders are expected to establish rules and processes. The mindset is to tell them what you want, when you want it, and how you want it done. Activate this style when you're overseeing a crisis and immediate decisions are needed. The downside is you probably won't encourage innovation; however, it will help you get out of a bind.
  • What do you think? – In this approach, leaders set the stage and have the final say; however, they seek input from others first. Activate this style to increase employee engagement. You'll also likely get ideas you may not have considered. As this will take more time, you'll want to use this in non-urgent situations.
  • Have at it – This approach is used by leaders who want to empower their staff to work on their own with little guidance. Activate this style when leading highly skilled and motivated personalities. For some, this method is useful when working with consultants or contract employees as well. It's crucial to delegate the right task to the right person. Set checkpoints to get updates. You can always switch back temporarily to a more directive style if you need to get things back on track.

Leadership Resources

Learning new skills may be one of the most uplifting characteristics of leadership. This is critical as new challenges usually require new approaches.

An effective way to sharpen your leadership skills is through podcasts. Here are a few to get started with:

The Introvert Entrepreneur – Just because you prefer books to people doesn't mean you can't be a top business leader. This podcast offers proof by interviewing leaders and offering advice and inspiration.

Entreleadership – This concentrates on small business and leadership with a variety of topics including leadership in a COVID-19 environment.

Growth Think Tank – Previously called, "Leaders In The Trenches," this podcast focuses on leadership growth by interviewing leaders in companies, best-selling authors and experts.

In these challenging times, leadership has never been more important to a business's success. Take the first step with this leadership quiz. From there, broaden your toolkit by listening to these leadership podcasts.

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