Leadership is an important tool for the boss. But often it can be difficult to get workers to follow the employer’s lead. Are employees more likely to follow a boss who exhibits certain traits? The answer seems to be in the affirmative. Here are four of those traits you should adopt so that employees will follow you.
1. Be credible. First of all, you must be perceived as honest. Dishonesty ruins any chance the employer has to lead employees. Secondly, the boss must be believable. Employers who are professional and capable inspire belief (Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge). Furthermore, their goals and expectations must make sense. They can’t pitch ideas that people find preposterous or not worth the effort. Ethically and professionally the boss must demonstrate credibility.
2. Be dynamic. In 1938 Hendrik Kraemer (The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World) commented that Shinto sect leaders in Japan were known to have extraordinary personalities. Charisma is vital to motivating. Leaders must be dynamic and communicate that they are going places. Often the workers will want to join in as the boss continues to move forward. People like to accompany that kind of employer because the journey ahead will be exciting and worthwhile. That in turn motivates the employees to do their best work as the enterprise progresses. Unfortunately, someone with a bland personality won’t be an outstanding motivator.
3. Think big. Convince the workers that they are part of a growing operation. A credible boss can convince employees that the sky is the limit. Workers need to think that this company is not only progressing, but also expanding in an exciting way.
4. Have fun! Everyone likes to be around a fun person. A boss who has fun is likely to retain employees longer. The employees will look forward to going to work. Make the work environment fun and skilled workers will probably show more creativity as they do their jobs.
Employers with key attributes motivate employees to follow them. It is very advantageous if the boss is credible and dynamic. Thinking big and having fun also contribute to building a workforce that values the employer’s leadership. Try and develop these traits so that your team will move in the same direction that you are taking the company.