Some leaders, like the teachers we had as children, are harder to forget than others. While bosses can be unforgettable because they make life miserable, the most memorable leaders stick with us because they change us for the better.
When I deliver leadership training I ask people to describe the best and worst leader they ever worked for, people inevitably ignore characteristics such as intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness and instead focus on qualities that are completely under the leaders control, such as passion, insight, and honesty.
These words describe leaders who are high in emotional intelligence. Leaders who are high in emotional intelligence perform better and get their staff to perform better.
By taking a closer look at the unique qualities of unforgettable bosses, you can learn valuable skills yourself and be on your way to becoming unforgettable yourself.
Here are some of the most common and meaningful characteristics of memorable leaders.
- They’re passionate. Few things are more demotivating than a leader who is bored with his life and his job. If the boss doesn’t care, why should anybody else? Memorable leaders demonstrate passion for what they do. They believe in what they’re trying to accomplish as a company and as an individual. This makes everyone else want to join the ride.
- They’re transparent. Memorable leaders don’t lie to cover up their mistakes, and they don’t make false promises. They don’t hide things they have the freedom to disclose. They share information and knowledge generously.
- They’re proactive. Memorable leaders coach. They don’t tell, they ask. They move obstacles out of the way. Sometimes, they clean up messes their people never even knew they made.
- They’re a safe pair of hands. Memorable leaders don’t get fazed, even when everything is not going as expected. People who’ve worked for an unforgettable leader often look back later and are amazed at their coolness under pressure.
- They’re human. Memorable leaders are human and they aren’t afraid to show it. They’re personable and easy to relate to. They’re warm. They realize that people have emotions, and they aren’t afraid to express their own. They relate to their people as a person first and a boss second. On the other hand, they know how to keep their emotions in check when the situation calls for it.
- They’re modest. Memorable leaders don’t seek personal recognition. Their work is truly a team effort, and their people feel accomplished when group goals are met. Since these bosses don’t believe they are above anyone or anything, they openly address their mistakes so that everyone can learn from them. Their modesty sets a tone of humility and strength that everyone else follow.
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