Written by Laura Barnett, Content Writer, iMiller Public Relations

Leadership is a notoriously difficult skill to master, and even great leaders encounter obstacles throughout their career. This can be due to the fact that there are so many unique and successful, and even many uniquely unsuccessful, ways to be a leader. Overall, most would define a successful leader as someone with vision, motivation, empathy, creativity and a host of other traits that give them a defined leadership style—whether that be democratic, autocratic, delegative, or transformational. Of course, each method comes with its own strengths, but there is almost always room to improve.

At Data Center POST, we believe everyone, with the right tools and knowledge, can be a successful leader. That’s why at WISPAmerica 2019, an event bringing together Internet Service Providers (ISP), industry experts and leading suppliers to network and discuss innovations in the Wireless ISP sphere, we attended a panel that we know will help anyone looking to build their leadership skills. Now, we want to pass this presentation’s secrets on to you.

In speaking with iMiller Public Relations (iMPR), a PR and marketing firm serving communications infrastructure and technology companies, Jennifer Hartley, the Vice President of Business Process Management, remarked, “Several words come to mind when I think of the qualities that make up a great leader. Honesty, Integrity, Focused, Driven – and while there are many more and all equally as important, I think it is dependent on the individual and how they play to their strengths. I believe great leaders should be in tune with their business and employees and constantly looking at ways to improve and learn, always growing. They are innovative, they think outside the box but stay grounded at the same time.”

According to the presentation given by the panel of speakers at WISPAmerica, the key to becoming a great leader pertains not to the leaders themselves, but to the people working under and alongside them and the relationships that are formed. Communication, understanding and a connection to your workers is the basis of every good leadership, as it fosters positive professional bonds. Feedback and criticism are also a crucial component when honing leadership approaches, as not every method will work for every work environment or every individual. Furthermore, taking company culture into consideration alongside individual feedback will help you understand what leadership style meshes best.   

Another key step to fostering great relationships is to invest in your people. In my consultation with the iMPR team, Mindy Gibson, the Vice President of Client Relations, remarked, “There are many qualities great leaders must possess, and while a rare few have them all, in my experience, first and foremost is a foundation of honesty, integrity and mutual respect.” Every worker wants to feel appreciated, heard and cared for. This means paying close attention to their needs and wants, including providing appropriate wages and vacation opportunities. Overall, great leadership must include a healthy amount of symbiotic give and take. “The best leaders.” Mindy added, “believe in teamwork and the value team members bring to the endeavor.”

Beyond developing interpersonal skills, if you want to become a great leader (or create great leaders) learning through outside classes, books or coaching experiences is a good way to do it. Once you’ve got a well-rounded sense of what great leadership looks like, it’ll be easier to identify and develop those characteristics in both yourself and others.

Being a leader is rarely easy, and success requires skills that need to be cultivated and nurtured with time and experience. However, looking outside yourself, understanding how your leadership impacts others and seeking examples of great leadership can be the secret to unlocking your own leadership potential.

Sandra de Novellis, the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for iMPR, added, “A great leader is someone who can motivate their staff with positivity and empower their teams with knowledge and information. It is important in today’s business culture for leaders to provide transparency and encourage open communication.”

To read our previous WISPAmerica blog about helpful online tools that can grow your business, please click here.

To share your thoughts about what makes a great leader – please add a comment.