Are You Cut Out for Management? 6 Qualities of a Great Leader
As with most industries, it’s common to start out on the bottom in the biotech field, climbing your way to the top of the corporate ladder into management. With that said, not everyone is a born leader, although many can learn how to be a successful manager. So, have you ever wondered if you’re cut out for management? Here are six qualities that great leaders possess.
Empathy is more than just having sympathy for someone else’s feelings. You can sympathize and understand them and give them space. However, empathizing involves a lot more. It involves putting yourself in that person’s shoes, getting on their level and realizing that you were once there yourself. After all, you actually were. You likely started out on the bottom and worked your way up, just like them.
But what does empathy have to do with leadership? Well, by empathizing with your employees, you’re better able to understand them. You also create an emotional connection that allows you to give them a safe space to vent. When you’re an empathetic leader, your team looks up to you and wants to work hard in order to make you happy. Because of this, you develop a creative and collaborative workplace where productivity thrives.
Open communication is an important quality. Without communication, you cannot be an effective leader….period. Have you ever worked under a manager who simply can’t communicate properly? They expect their employees to read their minds and then become frustrated with things aren’t done properly. A good manager knows how to communicate effectively with their workers in many different forms, from written communication to spoken words to even understanding the basics of body language. Good communicators are also effective listeners. If you truly want to be a good leader, you’ll need to enhance your communication skills. Thankfully, there are classes and workshops that can help in these areas if needed.
Another great quality for any leader involves having the ability to delegate tasks. There are some people who are very much in the mindset of “I’ll do it all myself.” Unfortunately, this is not the best way to ensure that things actually get done. Instead, that person carrying the full load overwhelms themselves, ends up cutting corners, and everything goes haywire. The best thing for leaders to do is to understand they can’t do it all – and they need to know their employees well enough to have a mental list of their strengths and weaknesses. This way, they can pass on tasks to the right individuals. Delegation involves teamwork and trust.
Honesty and integrity are the keys to success. While some companies may have profited from doing the opposite, eventually it catches up to them and they end up closing their doors in a flurry of lawsuits filled with angry investors and dissatisfied customers. Look at it this way – the more honest you are, the better off you’ll be as a leader. Never lie to your team or your higher-ups. Develop a clear set of rules to live by, for lack of a better term, and follow them. Make sure your workers follow suit too.
Now be honest. Do you give up when things get tough, such as when an experiment doesn’t quite work out? Good leaders don’t give up. Instead, they practice resilience and keep moving forward. They understand that failed experiments aren’t actually failures. Instead, they are simply ways of learning what not to do. Using those “failures” as experiences and finding ways to improve on your products is the first step in practicing true resilience. The best leaders know how to take these in stride and motivate their workers to follow a slightly different direction – one that hopefully leads to success.
If there’s one thing that all great leaders have in common, it’s vision. Your vision sets the tone for what’s to follow, and that’s success. While your vision may change and adjust here and there as things move forward, essentially, it remains unwavering. The company you work for may set that vision for you, but it’s up to you to make it your own. No matter what segment of the biotech industry you’re in, you need to have a general plan that involves making lives better in one way or another. Only then will you truly be a great leader.