Five rules of a true leader

Ann Cairns, vice chairman of Mastercard, offers an unorthodox view of leadership values.

How to develop a leader’s lifestyle, mindset and character?

Rule 1

First and foremost, every leader should have a vision – a comprehensive view of the future that they should be able to strongly communicate to their team. The ability to inspire, lead and create a team that really sticks together is the key quality.

Rule 2

A leader should be able to look at the change of the team make-up from a broad perspective. From time to time, it is good to bring in talent from the outside to inject fresh impetus into the company. Today, we hire a lot of people from the so-called millennials.

An open dialogue is the best way to get the most out of your team.

But even if you have the best team in the world, be ready to help them develop and grow into top managers.

Rule 3

Every leader should understand that they need talented and ingenious people and that a generational gap is actually an advantage, as younger team members are full of ideas, while older ones have the experience. We know well what worked in the past and what didn't.

Combining these two elements in the right way is something that will make you second to none.

Rule 4

An open dialogue is the best way to get the most out of your team. You should always be able to speak up and let others speak their mind. A good leader is the one that prefers to talk with employees rather than simply issue orders, as was the traditional practice.

Rule 5

Perhaps the most important thing for a leader is to have personal integrity so that people would feel they could trust them. This is the only way to lead them.

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