According to Tim Sanders, in his bestselling book “The Likability Factor”, the more you are liked, the happier your life will be. The higher your career will soar and the more money you will make. The book goes on to discuss how the people you meet along the way, will choose whether they like you or not and those choices will determine your health, wealth and happiness.
That if you are liked, people will follow you.
But what about traditional characteristics of leadership such as ability to communicate, ability to evaluate and take on risks or to possess humility and responsibility for the team. Do these qualities still matter?
To be a leader whom people follow with excitement and commitment to your vision, is it imperative that the leader is likable?
The answer to all these questions is yes. The traditional characteristics are all core to the likability factor. When you take a look at some of the great leaders of our time, you will notice they all seem to possess the same five characteristics.
1) They all are strong communicators. And by communicate, I don’t necessarily mean they talk well. A strong leader knows how to share their thoughts while letting their personal self shine through. They have strong visions that employees connect too and they are skillful storytellers weaving the tale to those that listen. – Through their personal communication, they become likable.
2) They are flexible risk takers. Things change often. The competitive landscape, the customer demands, the regulatory requirements and so much more. A strong leader is able to be flexible and to assess and take on the necessary risks to lead his or her team to victory.
3) They possess humility and realness. Treating your staff as though you are better than them or bragging about your riches does not make you a leader. Leaders have to connect with all levels within their company and show each person respect and appreciation for what they do for the company. The only way this works, is if it is authentic and real.
4) They’re Approachable. They make you feel like you can bring them anything and when you talk to them, you feel like you are the only person in the room. Strong leaders will make you feel valuable and appreciated regardless of your rank within the organization.
5) They’re Responsible. Strong leaders know it all starts at the top. The good and the bad. She knows when to take the blame on her shoulders and when to share the accolades and positive rewards with the entire team. It isn’t about self-promotion or recognition; it is about allowing your teams to shine and protecting them when the hits come.
Bottom line, strong leaders are those that put their teams in front on their own personal agendas. They have an innate ability to bring the best out of others, have the ability to communicate openness and friendliness while being interested in others. There is a realness about them that stands behind integrity and values and most importantly, they have the ability to recognize and respond to other’s feelings.