When you think about the leaders you respect in your life, chances are you can identify a few common traits. Hard-working, adaptable and intelligent are all likely to make your list, but one of the most important (and perhaps underrated) traits is reliability.
Great leaders understand that punctuality, clear communication and follow-up are critical elements of success. They realise that being consistently reliable builds trust, increases confidence and ensures efficiency in the workplace. Reliability is something we should all be aiming for – so if you’re not as dependable as you’d like, how can you turn it around? In this article we’ll share 5 habits of relentlessly reliable leaders that you can start practising today.
Always Be on Time
Punctuality comes naturally to some people, while others need to work harder to achieve it. If you’re part of the latter group, make it a priority to start being on time. This includes everything from work, meetings and phone calls to social outings and picking up the kids.
Do whatever it takes – get up earlier, allow yourself more travel time or set yourself a reminder alarm 10 minutes before you need to be out the door. If you’re consistent and keep at it, punctuality will become a habit in time, and your effort will be rewarded.
Be Clear on Expectations
The best leaders clearly express what they expect from each individual member of their team. Whether speaking in one-on-one interactions or during group meetings, they communicate their ideas and expectations in a way that leaves no grey areas or room for misinterpretation.
This clarity extends to time frames on deliverable too. When every member of your team always knows exactly what is expected of them, and when it needs to be delivered, you give yourself the greatest chance of success.
Remember to Follow-up
It’s one thing to set the wheels in motion, but you need to follow up to be sure that everything has gone to plan. Reliable leaders do this without question, which ensures nothing slips through the cracks.
Keeping track of outstanding agreed-upon tasks doesn’t need to be time-consuming, but you will need a good system to stay on top of things. Whether you prefer an on-screen spreadsheet or old-school notebook, making a list that includes names, dates and contact details will make it fast and easy to complete your follow-ups.
Great leaders are conscious communicators, aware of the impact they have on people around them.
Be a Conscious Communicator
Great leaders are aware of the impact they have on the people around them, and work hard to ensure they are having the desired effect. This means being conscious of their mood at work and the words and actions they use when interacting with others.
Reliable leaders don’t let their moods interfere with the way they communicate with others. They are consistent in their interactions no matter who they are dealing with – from customers to colleagues to senior executives.
Make Notes for Action
Another important attribute of great leaders is the ability to continuously self-assess their performance to identify areas for growth and improvement. This can be done by taking notes or making lists to review and action. For example, it could be a list of mistakes made and how to avoid them, or of books to read for self-improvement. But the key for reliable leaders is to follow these lists up with action – and that should be the purpose of the notes from the start.
Are You a Reliable Leader?
Reliable leaders inspire trust, confidence and accountability in their team. So how reliable are you? Are you punctual? Consistent with your interactions? And do your team understand exactly what is expected of them? If you’re not answering a definitive “yes”, take steps to become a reliable leader today.
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