By Burak Demirtas, Managing Director, Capital Automotive, RMA Group.
It’s no doubt that leaders hold a vital role in any company. Leaders can either take businesses to new heights or sink them. That’s why so many large companies, such as RMA Group, invest heavily in leadership training. I landed my first leadership role as a General Manager at age 28. Young but determined, I took that opportunity to learn how to make a positive impact everyday. Eight years later, I began working in leading positions at RMA Group. Throughout those 15 years, I picked up on traits that great leaders possess.
Here are 5 important ones I’d like to share with you:
1. Welcoming Responsibility
It’s not possible to talk about leadership without mentioning responsibility. As a leader, a decision you make can change the life of your company, your colleagues and their families in a positive or negative way. As a leader, you have to be willing and ready to take on that responsibility. Your decisions will be impacting lives beyond your company.
I personally learned this lesson early on. I was the head of my class and football team in both elementary and secondary school, I was always naturally eager to receive more responsibility. My career reflects that trait; things have always been fast-moving because I yearned to do more.
Passion is the source of energy that fuels great leaders. There’s no doubt that you have to be a hard-worker. But there’s a huge difference between working hard and having that passion that fires you to do more everyday.
Five years into my role with RMA Turkey, I was given the opportunity to become Country Manager of Kazakhstan and Turkey. What pushed my decision to take on this role? Passion. I saw areas in which RMA could serve both countries, and that I could make a substantial impact coming on board. Leaders are extremely passionate about solving problems. If there was a position with no problems to solve, it wouldn’t be attractive to any leader.
3. Empathy: Their Happiness is Yours
I find this to be the most important quality of a great leader. Pay attention to the happiness of your colleagues. This is how you build team spirit; a valuable asset that is often overlooked. A good leader knows to create a sense of justice amongst the team. Everyone should know that not one person is more privileged than the other. Additionally, showing your coworkers how hard-working you are facilitates your team’s belief in you and helps you earn respect.
A company’s most significant resource is its employees, and the happiness level of its people is perhaps the most important performance evaluation indicator. Remember that the success or failure of an organization belongs to a team, not a person.
4. Vision and Execution
Every leader has a vision. What makes someone stand out is executing that vision. Successful leaders are decision-makers. They aren’t afraid to put themselves in a risk-taking position if that means following through with their vision. An exceptional example of this is Kemal Atatürk, who never let his ideas slip out of sight even through turbulent times, thus founding the Modern Turkish Republic.
5. Making Accurate Decisions with Confidence
I found that this trait comes naturally to the greatest of leaders. Training and experience can help build your confidence to make on-the-spot decisions. Leaders possess the ability to make decisions instinctively and accurately in unplanned situations. The accuracy of that decision is what makes a great leader stand out.
Going From Good to Great
Every leader wants to take the leap from being “good” to being “great”. Throughout my career, learning from personal experience in leadership roles and from other successful leaders, I found the five traits above vital to becoming a successful leader. Most importantly, leaders don’t act just for personal gain; they’re out to make an impact in the world.