Good leadership can be hard to describe, but easy to spot. This is not any different in the transportation industry, where good leadership can sometimes feel hard to find.

Put most simply: Good leaders make hard decisions and can rally people to a cause. However, being able to do these things isn’t so simple.

In the transportation industry, leaders must develop new solutions, refine logistics operations and implement a supply chain strategy. This requires striking a balance in their decision making as well as communicating their intentions clearly.

Want to learn how to be a leader in your transportation workplace? Use the following advice.

Positive but realistic

Great transportation leaders must stay positive and enthusiastic, particularly when their team is facing a major challenge, like a breakdown in the supply chain. However, good company leaders are also transparent with their staff and realistic about the potential outcomes of a situation.

If a transportation leader is unrealistically positive when things go wrong, they run the risk of losing credibility with their staff. Similarly, if they immediately have a “worst-case-scenario” attitude when challenges present themselves, their staff will see them as overdramatic or unrealistic – equally as detrimental to a leader’s credibility.

Leading by example

Rather than just preach about good work habits, great transportation leaders set an example for others to follow. These men and women don’t hesitate to roll up their sleeves when needed. They don’t ask their staff to handle anything they wouldn’t do themselves.

Great leaders must also remain vigilant. For example, a good leader will always follow safety guidelines, not just when they think people are looking.

A great transportation leader also accepts responsibility for their decisions. Workers won’t own up to their own mistakes if they see their supervisor constantly shifting blame away from themselves.

Confident but not cocky

Employees want their leaders to be confident because it inspires confidence in them. However, too much confidence can quickly make a leader unattractive.

The best way to walk that line is to be driven by passion and know the transportation industry as much as possible. In particular, a good leader should have an intimate knowledge of the company’s entire supply chain. This allows them to work effectively with various departments and companies. A good leader should command respect both inside and outside of his or her company.

Finally, a great leader is confident enough to invite alternate viewpoints and even criticism. A workplace where people are afraid to speak their mind can quickly become a toxic environment that chases away the best workers.

Assertive but not harsh

Employees also want their transportation leaders to fight for what they believe in, and that means advocating for them with upper management. Good leaders must be comfortable with all levels of an organization, able to address executives at a boardroom level as well as they talk to truck drivers and warehouse workers.

Often, bad leaders make the mistake of using domineering, manipulating and other harsh methods to keep workers in line. They may be concerned that not exerting control will result in an undisciplined workforce that regularly challenges their authority. Rather than showing strength through harsh tactics, great leaders earn a reputation for being strong by handling adversity.

At Cornerstone, we know that great leaders are only as good as those they lead. If you or your company is looking for an infusion of talented workers, feel free to contact us today.

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