Attracting top talent, innovating new programs, capturing market share – virtually every important thing that happens at a manufacturing company boils down to one very important quality.

Leadership.

Becoming an effective and admired leader is essential to advancement and achievement on the job. A good leader inspires, motivates and sets a positive example. What does it take to show great leadership?

Lead by Example: Whatever you want from your employees, exemplify it. From punctuality to professional dressing, it’s crucial to walk the talk when you are in a leadership role. No double standards!

Listen: Foster good communication and honesty by actively listening to your employees, especially as they share tales of challenges. Make employees feel heard.

Be Approachable: Keep doors open and reward employees who speak their minds. Reliable information from the trenches is invaluable.

Continuous Self-Improvement: Great leaders never rest on their laurels. They are actively improving themselves, which inspires some employees to do likewise, and sets a positive example for the rest of them. Make it clear you’re committed to your own positive growth as well as theirs.

Emotional Awareness: At the end of the day, every business is about people. Being a good leader means using both your head and your heart. Anything you can do to improve your emotional intelligence will pay off.

Communication Skills: Great leaders know how to be frank and honest without being hurtful. They can share information that can be hard to hear, while keeping it constructive and positive.

Facilitation Skills: Great leaders bring the best qualities out in others. Encourage others to express themselves and to grow. Reward and honor people for their progress and they’ll pursue progress that much more passionately. They want to perform better, but they need to see that it matters.

Be of Service to Your People: Listen, find out what is holding them back at work, and fix it. As a leader, you have the power to clear obstacles from the path and find resources.

Give Ownership: Don’t micromanage. Allow people to understand and resolve their own problems. The process of exploring, discovering, testing and revising enables people to learn and grow.

Manage for Potential: Don’t hire for today, but for someone’s inherent skills and values. Trust in their potential, ask how you can help them improve, and give them a chance to demonstrate increasing capabilities.

Show Integrity: Stand up for what’s right—for employees, customers, and the world a whole. This builds credibility and serves as a positive example.