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What it takes to be a leader

Most companies have a leader, but not all companies have great leaders. It takes a lot to be a great leader.

A great leader is not someone you must follow, but one you want to follow.

Last week, I watched first-hand as a leader of a company took on a dirty maintenance job.

This job could have easily been dictated to another person in the company, one or any one of the ones who were not on a “leader level.”

However, I watched as this leader did the job themselves. Never once asking or expecting anyone else in the company to do the job.

Over the years, I have been both an employee and an employer, and to be a great leader, you must be willing to serve and treat those around you with respect. I witnessed that in that leader that day.

The great leaders know they are responsible for establishing the tone of the company. A great leader knows how to teach, and if done correctly, employees will follow and learn wholeheartedly.

A great leader is also a master of communication. If you are a leader of a company, remember to communicate with not only managers, but your employees as well. A well-run team will take their leader far.

If you are a leader, here are some tips you can start doing today to help not only yourself, but your team:

Build trust. When it comes to leading a team, you must be willing to go out on a limb for your employees to show them you have their back.

Promote an open environment for two-way feedback.

Be a coach.

Show confidence in your decisions.

Take responsibility.

Show respect.

Crystal Vandegrift is a staff reporter for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@TheCharlotteGazette.com