3 Things Leaders Need to Pay Attention to (That Aren't Money)

Experience alone does not qualify one as a great leader today.

learn more about Fatema Dewji

By Fatema Dewji

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you see your privileged position as a place of personal success or as an opportunity to be the change-maker?

Leaders are always in the limelight. How you present yourself as a leader is an outcome of your deep-rooted values and thought process, and impacts your team and followers. One evident change from the conventional leadership style is that experience alone does not qualify one as a great leader today.

Related: What True Leadership is All About

In a Global Human Capital Trend Survey conducted by Deloitte Insights, 81% of respondents believe that the unique requirements of 21st-century leaders are the ability to lead through more complexity and ambiguity, and only 30% believe that they are developing leaders to meet new challenges.

While modern leaders have time constraints and overwhelming targets to achieve, it is worth stepping back and building an influence that reinforces trust, creates a positive impact, and greets the future with confidence.

Here is how to create a transparent environment and achieve long-term success at the workplace by essentially reflecting on the behavior as a leader.

1) Pay attention to the goals and aspirations of your team

Larry Page, the co-founder of Google and computer scientist, once said, "My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they have a meaningful impact." A common belief of successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders is to cherish their team and pay close attention to their needs and expectations from their job roles.

Sometimes, leaders regret letting go of their star performers. A study of 20,000 managers and employees reveals that 20% quit their job due to a lack of appreciation from leaders. Employees also have aspiring goals and creating an environment that feels like a place where your team members will grow and prosper is crucial to business success.

Genuine empathy from a leader helps in recognizing unique talents, understanding challenges, and offering better support to nurture the team. Your compassion as a leader also extends to understanding personal problems and offering professional care to ensure that the team performance is not compromised.

Related: The Future of Leadership is Empathy - And Companies Are Better For It

2) Pay attention to what are you giving back

The leadership position is defined by ambitious targets and expectations from the team or organization at large. In this fast-paced environment, leaders may get so engrossed in fulfilling their role that there is a possibility to forget the challenges and feel restless with the underperformance of the team.

It is inspiring to learn that Wilton Connor, CEO, and Founder of a packaging company in North Carolina, offers laundry services to his staff after understanding the time spent doing this chore from one of his employees. The act of giving back has also extended to providing door to door transport service and English classes to the employees.

A small act of giving back to your human resource takes leaders and organizations a long way to achieving profits with a purpose. By paying attention to the needs of the employees, be it resources, leads, or even giving a small celebration, leaders can make the team feel that they are working with someone who understands and cares for them.

3) Pay attention to how you influence others

The Deloitte Insights study states that 65% of organizations prefer to have leaders who can lead with influence. It is essential to remember, whether in a boardroom, at a public speaking event, or on the social media platform, the actions made by a leader are widely observed and form an opinion.

A leader with influence also creates a safe space to allow others to voice their opinion without being judged or negatively remarked. By valuing the ideas and contributions of others, inspiring leaders become role models and extend their influence beyond their organizations.

Warren Buffet, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the top ten richest people in the world once shared, "It takes 20 minutes to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently."

Related: How Much Influence Do You Have

Learning from inspiring entrepreneurial leaders

  1. Peter Sage, a serial entrepreneur, founded 15 startups by the age of 30 and is the owner of multi-million dollar companies such as Space Energy, The Energie Fitness Group, and World Wide Health Corporation. Despite having no formal educational qualification, Sage is an advisor to well-known leaders and business schools. Moved by his success, he is using his talent of self-mastery to help others become successful.
  2. Robin Sharma is a successful Canadian writer who believes that everyone has the potential to be a leader, even at entry-level. Some of his best self-help books include The Leader Who Had No Title, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO. Sharma firmly believes leadership is not a title. It is your behavior.
  3. Named as Time Magazine's 25 most influential, along with Kim Kardashian West and JK Rowling, Huda Kattan is the Founder of the multi-million dollar makeup company, Huda Beauty. In an interview conducted by Fast Company, Huda referred to her team as phenomenal and beautiful despite flaws in the initial days of production. Speaking of her challenges, she also remarked, "This sounds weird, but I feel like God has given me so many beauty dilemmas so I can help people."

As a privilege, leadership is a lifetime opportunity to create an environment where you always desire to thrive. With great power comes great responsibility, and leadership is the power that fuels your passion for achieving mutual happiness, so make sure you do it right, beginning with self-reflection.

Fatema Dewji

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Marketing Director

Fatema Dewji is the Marketing Director of MeTL (Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited), one of the largest business houses in Africa, she is the founder of the MO brand a multi-billion dollar company with over 28,000 employees.

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