"Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful."
When contracting, a leader is just one quality that employers sometimes look for. Oftentimes, you are expected to join a team and lead it to success. Success being launching a product or turning a failing project around.
Not an easy job when embedded in a team from the start never mind when at the end and its failing and you’re called in.
I got my first taste of leadership after working for PopCap Games. I was part of a backend service team that built web services for online games.
There were a couple of strong, vocal personalities to say the least. Leaders by standard convention.
My time in PopCap was an amazing learning experience. Albeit short. I thought that this would elevate my career.
When I took my next job, people saw me as a leader. Up until then I’d never imagined myself this way before. So, being curious, I queried why. It was not because of my last job, instead it was because of what I did in my own spare time.
Over the years, I had be seeking extra projects outside of my normal 9 to 5 job. To get these projects, I had to nurture leadership qualities.
Extra projects are an amazing way of learning new techniques and utilizing technologies you’d normally never get to in your 9 to 5 job. Besides the technical aspect, there were personal ones too.
In order to land these jobs, I had to be confident enough to meet complete strangers and talk, with authority, about what I was capable of achieving.
I’ve tried to distill what I think makes a good leader in a person. This could be a huge subjective list but I decided to limit it to three key qualities.
1. Self Cultivated
Great leaders cultivate themselves on a daily basis. They know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are. They seek out the latter and tackle them head-on. Self-cultivated people are easier to coach, improve and better able to accept what they need in order to improve.
2. Great Listeners
People love to be listened too. It validates their human experience. We think highly of others who respect what we have to say and how we feel. And even more so those know can actively listen ingest our insights. Really great leaders are even better listeners.
Leadership is about tuning into those who they lead whilst turning off pre-existing biases which get in the way.
3. Cultivate Others
The best leaders cultivate the best in others. The best leaders make those around them more successful. I don’t think there is any more to be said on that.
What do you think are the three most important qualities of good leaders? Let me know in the comments.