There have been many articles and books written about what makes a good leader in the work environment. Most of us have watched as expectations and definitions have changed over the years, as well as our own values and appreciation for what makes a good leader. One could argue that different types of businesses and companies need different types of leaders and that these leaders both influence and are born of the company culture. Regardless of the style or type of leader, one thing remains important'”they must be reliable and consistent.
Employees and staff need to know that they can rely on the leader to make decisions, pay attention to the details of the job and basically “show up” to fulfill his or her job duties. This does NOT mean micro-managing or making constant changes, but it does mean that the workplace leader sets the tone for reliability and accountability in the department, company or business.
Reliability means showing up for work on time and being prepared, present and available, but it also means being someone who can be counted on when the going is both easy and rough. A good leader may also be a good delegator, but he or she is someone who does his or her share of the work and it does it well.
Consistency is also key in a good workplace leader. This means that employees will get to “know” what is expected and what value systems guide decisions. It can be stressful, for example, if the boss makes decisions willy-nilly and there is a lack of cohesive “purpose” to the way things are done. A consistent leader also sets the tone and it allows for decisions and problem-solving to take place in his or her absence that will be in keeping with the overall goals and direction of the company.
A consistent boss or leader does not have to be boring, but he or she may be a bit predictable. This is actually a good thing and does not need to be an inhibitor to progression or change. Following policy in a relatively predictable way and setting expectations that are consistent are just some of the ways that strong leaders lead by example.