1. They don't have to have the answer. Early in my management career I thought that being in charge meant I had to have all of the answers to any issue or problem that arose. I learned over time that it's my role as a leader to ensure issues and problems are solved, but that by no means do solutions have to come from me. Most of the time the solution to a problem should come from those closest to the problem itself.
2. They seek out other viewpoints even if they differ from their own. Life is a lot easier if everyone around you, especially your employees, agrees with your ideas and opinions. However, you're not always right, and sometimes other people's ideas and opinions create an even better result then would have been reached if the matter had been left up to you. One of the most powerful questions a leader can ask is, "What do you think?" It's even more effective when you ask before you share your own opinion.
3. They're always teaching. Managers usually tell but will teach when they have to. Leaders usually teach but tell when they have to. Nothing develops an employee faster and makes a greater impact than leaders taking advantage of teachable moments. There are many teachable moments in a day but we're usually too busy to see them and way too busy to take advantage of them. Teachable moments take more time but the return on investment is huge. Never miss the chance to invest wisely.
4. They repeat themselves. A lot. Imagine if your parents had only told you once to wash your hands before eating. Repetition is not only a key element of learning, it helps position those things that are most important to your success. If the customer experience is vital to your business then you can't afford to only talk about it once a year at a company meeting. It's a vitally important subject that needs to be brought up again and again.
5. They constantly give employees direct and constructive feedback. I estimate that somewhere around 20% of all managers are really good at giving employees direct and constructive feedback, but that 80% of managers think they are. When companies reduce that performance gap in their managers they're able to improve employee productivity and the overall working environment. I recommend you read the article at the end of this Daily if you're in the 80% and not the 20%
6. They encourage the heart. Employees are more committed to the company and the customer when they know their efforts are recognized and appreciated by their manager and others in the company. It's amazing how much mileage a leader gets out of saying things like "thank you," "great job," "we appreciate you," "thanks for working here," etc. I know I've written about these last two over and over - but that just proves point #4.
So let me ask, are you displaying these extraordinary leadership attributes?