What Makes a Great Leader?

Words of Wisdom from WIT Leadership Awards Finalists –

Small Business/Entrepreneur

As we move closer to the annual WIT Leadership Awards on May 17, we are featuring real life stories and insights from the outstanding pool of finalists for the 2018 awards.

Today we recognize the finalists in the Small Business category:

  • Nisha Shajahan - Integrity Management Services, Inc.
  • Kim Shanahan - accelHRate LLC

We asked each finalist what characteristics they think make a great leader, and why.  Here’s what the finalists had to say:

Humility. As a leader, you should have confidence in yourself, but also in your team. Minimize the focus on self and instead focus on the bigger picture. It allows the team to feel empowered, feel valued and feel their contributions matter (and it’s not all about the leader). It fosters an environment of collaboration and equality, so check your ego at the door and let your people shine!

Doing leader. Many times people think when you make it to the top, you don’t have to do the work and your staff will do it for you. However, lead by example. A leader should be willing and able to roll up her sleeves at any given point and work as part of the team, not necessarily the “head” of the team. This shows your team you are here to support them and being the leader doesn’t make you above the “grunt” work. 

Be engaged with those you lead and surround yourself with the right people. Do your best to help improve weaknesses, which shows your team you're invested in them. However, focus on identifying and utilizing their strengths, which helps all parties soar.

Be a risk taker (and be willing to fail occasionally). "There is no reward, without risk." Encourage your team to feel comfortable thinking outside the box and be innovative. Although all ideas may not be successful, some of them surely will!

Provide clarity in communication. Set the mission, vision, values and strategy so that everyone is clear on where the business is going, the plan on how to get there and how to conduct themselves in the process.

Have integrity. This is a testament to your character, fosters trust, and ensures everyone is on the same page in how they are being led, regardless of the situation.”

-        Nisha Shajahan, President and CEO, Integrity Management Services, Inc.

 “We spend our time interviewing hundreds of executives each year. Those that stand out have a combination of traits that come together. They are smart, courageous, confident and inspirational with strong executive presence. They effectively communicate a vision and strategy while inspiring others to follow them. They garner loyalty from top talent and understand how to motivate individuals as well as the collective whole. They are accountable, with high integrity. The best have a higher-than-average emotional intelligence, strong humility/compassion and know how to get the most out of others. When the pressure is on, they do not react irrationally but are consistent and focused. Great leaders are faced with numerous challenges on a daily basis. A leader can't lead without people who will follow them and, ultimately, organizations are only as good as their people. We work with many great leaders and some who have more to learn on this journey. For example, top CHROs are selective and will only work with CEOs who have all of the traits mentioned above. Great leaders attract, motivate, and inspire great people -- this results in truly great organizations.”

-        Kim Shanahan, President and CEO,  accelHRate LLC

Join us for the 19th annual WIT Leadership Awards on May 17 at the Sheraton Tyson’s Corner as we honor each of these women for their outstanding leadership.  Tickets are available here.


Share this post:

Comments on "What Makes a Great Leader? "

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment