“Born leader” is a phrase that often implies that the qualities of a good leader are innate. However, it is not entirely true. Of course, certain traits tend to be innate, but key leadership qualities can be learned and improved with time. According to Claire Revell, the best leaders constantly learn and improve to guide the people around them in a better manner.
Claire Revell is the director and CEO of Intellek (formerly TutorPro), a global B2B learning technology provider that she joined at the age of 19. Claire has worked her way up through the ranks along with her bigger vision for the business.
Claire also recently co-founded an EdTech company called SIDIS Academy, which aims to support providers of the new U.K. T Level qualifications. Her mission is to open global doors and empower more women in STEM and leadership. According to Claire, great leaders lead by example and possess the following essential traits:
Transparency and honesty
Claire has seen the positive impact of communicating the position of the business and her vision with the team. She believes this is essential to the success and growth of any business. This ensures the team knows where the business isnow and where it’s headed.
It encourages the team to be fully invested in the journey. Working closely with the team, Claire and her departmental managers develop quarterly objectives and key results (OKRs) to help everyone understand their focus. Each objective is aligned to the overall vision and it makes clear to one and all the part they play.
Effective leaders focus on self-development as much as they emphasize on developing others, if not more. Leaders need to continually improve themselves, develop their emotional intelligence, and learn how to be adaptable. To grow and develop at all stages in life, whether at work or at home, is essential for self-fulfillment and self-worth. Knowledge creates an environment of positivity, progress, and success. It is important to challenge yourself.
Claire implements ‘Fr–idea’ Day at Intellek. On the last Friday of the month, the team takes a step back from its normal role and uses the time for personal or business development. This could be continued learning, product road-mapping, research, testing out a new idea or strategy, etc. Fr–idea Day also encourages colleagues who would not normally get a chance to work together to pair up and exchange ideas. Fr–idea Day has now evolved into the Strategy week, which is scheduled to occur twice a year.
This is the same premise as Fr–idea Day but runs for an entire week! These opportunities boost creativity, stimulate idea generation, and broaden knowledge. Claire says, “I cannot express how excited I get when these days and weeks occur, as the teams are so energized and enthusiastic. The ideas that have come to fruition have been incredible!”
Claire says that leaders should be open to feedback and keep an open mind to help them adjust to change.
The success of any team or group relies on its trust in the leader. Claire says that a good leader should be able to build trust with those in his/her team. This is also a two-way street. As a leader, Claire knows her teams won’t always do it her way, and that’s fine. The team members know Claire has confidence in them and trusts them and their ability to work together to achieve the desired outcome. Micro-managing creates undue pressure and can trigger a toxic environment.
Coaching the team means that Claire no longer provides the answer immediately or does it for them because it is quicker – that’s no way to learn! It’s more about being supportive, encouraging, and helping everyone to excel and demonstrate their full potential.
Confidence is an important and attractive trait in leaders. However, humility sits above that. Claire states that being humble is far stronger than being confident. Great leaders know how to take criticism, admit when they are wrong, and accept it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Claire encourages the team members to reflect on what they have accomplished, and not just jump straight onto the next task. They have the opportunity to acknowledge each other’s wins ona peer-to-peer recognition platform called Motivosity, while associating the post with one of the Core Values. At company meetings, Claire’s teams also share monthly wins so they can spend a moment basking in their successes.
Effective communication skills in a leader are paramount. Claire, who has implemented many changes at Intellek and will continue to do so as the business evolves, is a firm believer that growth and comfort don’t coexist. Changes can be daunting, especially under new leadership, but she has been fortunate enough to have had full support from the team.
Claire believes that with constant communication and inclusion in discussions and decisions, systems and processes can be successfully transformed with minimal disruption. The benefits have now become evident, building trust and confidence.
In addition, it’s vital that each department has an understanding of the activities happening throughout the business, not just in their department. Great leaders respect different communication customs and believe in learning to improve their skills.
Claire states that leadership is also about having a powerful imagination and excellent interpersonal skills in all areas. It is always her intention to remain positive, bring an energetic vibe to the workplace to generate enthusiasm, and demonstrate that she loves what she does. For her, it has become evident that when she shows her passion and dedication, it becomes infectious!
As Claire Revell puts it, leaders should serve the people they work with and provide direction to them. We should support one another, be inspired by others, and share approaches and insights. With the traits discussed by her, one can surely become a strong leader.
This is a Contributor Post. Opinions expressed here are opinions of the Contributor. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and cannot investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the Contributor to disclose. Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles may be professional fee-based.