Leadership isn’t just about control — it’s also about actions and behaviors. As a leader, do your current leadership behaviors align with both your and your team’s goals? And does your behavior boost your team’s morale or bring the mood down — resulting in high turnover and less efficiency? To help you answer those questions, we’ve put together a breakdown of the kind of conduct that leaders should exhibit.
What are leadership behaviors?
Leadership behaviors are actions and conduct that leaders incorporate into their management styles in order to effectively lead their teams, motivate them, and achieve their goals.
Leaders who don’t possess these behaviors may struggle with completing objectives, maintaining a healthy work environment, or managing their team members.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 30 examples of leadership behaviors that will benefit both you and your team.
Effective Leadership Behaviors Examples
Compassion means having sympathy and concern for others, especially when they are experiencing misfortune. Leading with compassion builds trust and promotes collaboration. Your employees will feel more comfortable confiding in you about issues that may be disrupting their workflow.
An excellent leader is always prepared to shift priorities and processes to adapt to changing market conditions. New viral social media sites are popping up every day. State-of-the-art technologies are always in development and changing the ways consumers interact with products and services. Adaptable leadership means working to keep up with these changes and ensuring that your business model is always up-to-date and evolving.
3. Coaching mindset
Having a coaching mindset means wanting to help your employees improve their skill set and grow both personally and professionally. As a leader, you should also act as a mentor by taking the time to get to know your employees and their goals to help set them up for success. Consider having training sessions that focus on specific areas of the business or set aside time for your employees to shadow colleagues in different departments — based on their interests.
4. Active listening
According to a 2021 global survey by The Workforce Institute at UKG, 74% of employees say they are more effective at their job when they feel heard. That same study also showed 88% of employees whose companies financially outperform others in their industry feel heard compared to 62% of employees at financially underperforming companies.
Active listening means giving the person who is speaking your full, undivided attention. In tandem with listening to their words, you’re also analyzing what’s being said —paying close attention to the content, intentions, and emotion of the speaker. Employees appreciate this because it means they’re not only being heard they’re also being understood.
You can’t expect your team to be motivated to reach new heights if you aren’t. Leaders set the tone for their team’s morale. Being a motivational leader means showing enthusiasm for the company’s future. It also means setting the vision for the company and getting team members equally excited about what’s to come.
Being a self-aware leader means understanding your character and feelings. Knowing your character is important because it means you are aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and the way you respond to situations. This provides a foundation from which you can work to make improvements where need be. Being aware of your feelings also allows you to approach situations with clarity and a calm mind.
In order for your team to believe in you, you must first believe in your own leadership abilities — that’s why confidence is key. To build your confidence, repeat positive affirmations to yourself, practice good posture, speak clearly, and make eye contact while speaking. It’s easier said than done, but with good practice and repetition, your confidence will grow and your team will notice.
Assertive leaders stand up for themselves, others, and what they believe in —but being assertive does not mean being “pushy” or “disrespectful.” Stand up to others while remaining calm and positive.. Be direct and clear in your communication, and don’t just passively accept unfavorable responses.
9. Time management
An effective leader knows how to use their and their team’s time wisely. Leaders properly manage time by streamlining workflows to make processes more efficient. They also implement detailed plans that prioritize important tasks and take the amount of time it takes to complete them into account.
Completing a project on time is important, but timeliness means nothing if the project is riddled with errors or missing key components. A true leader pays close attention to detail to ensure high standards of quality are met. However, that does not mean a good leader lets their attention to detail interfere with important developments —it simply means they use their attention to detail to deliver thorough results.
As a leader, you must be able to clearly articulate your objectives. Communicating effectively means you can spend less time repeating yourself and more time taking action. So make sure your verbal communication is easy to understand. Another aspect of great communication is understanding how your team prefers to communicate. Do email updates help? How about weekly scheduled Zoom meetings and town halls? Pay close attention to the types of communication that yield the best results and implement them into your strategy.
Accountability doesn’t just mean holding someone else to task for their behaviors —it also means holding yourself accountable. No leader is perfect, and part of establishing trust with your team is taking responsibility for your own shortcomings. If you missed a deadline or forgot to update your team on a project, take ownership and make a point to do better. Your team will respect your honesty and reflect it by holding themselves accountable as well.
A dependable leader can be trusted to do what they say they’ll do, when they say they’ll do it, and the way it needs to be done. This instills confidence in the team and can inspire them to do the same. A leader who lacks dependability can shake a team’s morale, reduce efficiency, and lose out on important opportunities.
Proactive leadership means taking the time to plan, improve your team’s processes, and put initiatives in place to prevent problems before they arise. As a proactive leader, you should identify areas of risk for your team and work to minimize negative impacts or remove them altogether before issues pop up.
The key to being proactive is to plan. Plan the route to meet your goals and what you’ll do after. Plan for when things go right, and plan in case a project fails. Devise a plan for how each member in your team will contribute to the company’s objectives. Remember, if you stay ready, you’ll never have to get ready.
16. Problem solving
A leader must be able to find solutions to difficult or unpredictable problems, and in an ever-changing professional landscape, unpredictable problems happen by nature. A good leader also understands that they must also utilize the strengths of their teams to get over hurdles.
Responsible leaders own the fact that they have an obligation to make tough decisions, lead, and are in control of their team. They do not shy away from responsibility or accountability — and they’re not afraid to be decision-makers.
As a goal-oriented leader, you must set clear and realistic goals for both yourself and your team — and be driven to achieve them. Consistent goal setting builds motivation and pushes the team to achieve important objectives and meet deadlines. To maintain a goal-oriented outlook, you must approach each task with a positive attitude.
Purpose goes hand-in-hand with goal-setting. As a leader, you must have a clear future envisioned for your team that drives everyone forward. Where do all your goals lead to? What drives you to succeed and is that purpose clear to your employees?
No matter your objective as a leader, reaching it requires commitment. A committed leader will give their time and energy to their company, team, and goals. Their go-getter attitude will also inspire their team to be committed to their tasks as well.
Being a leader isn’t easy. Sometimes plans fail, markets shift, consumers change, and frustrations can arise. However, a resilient leader finds the strength to persevere through uncertainty or disappointment and helps their team stay the course to their goals.
Lack of transparency can create distrust between you and your team. To be a transparent leader, you have to make yourself clear and easy to understand. You must also ensure the words you say match your tone and body language to avoid confusion. A transparent leader may not be able to tell the team everything, but they don’t leave questions as to what they can or can’t share.
23. Personal fulfillment
A leader gets a sense of personal fulfillment when a project is completed successfully. That personal fulfillment is the result of alignment between their drive, purpose, and desire to achieve their goals alongside their team.
A leader who practices reflection is an efficient leader. Reflection allows leaders to look back on previous experiences, learn from them, and make improvements going forward. As a leader, getting external feedback on your decisions can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, practicing self-reflection and taking careful consideration of your past actions can be great ways to help yourself expand your skill set.
An empathetic leader is able to understand or feel what another person is experiencing by figuratively putting themselves in that person’s position. Being in tune with your team’s feelings and concerns can help you adjust expectations, get to the heart of certain issues, and instill trust. To build empathy, step outside your comfort zone and ask “How would I feel if this were happening to me?”
26. Constructive feedback
The individual members of your team have their own goals — just like you. As a leader you should be comfortable giving constructive feedback to your team members to help facilitate their growth and improve performance. Constructive feedback is informative, issue-specific, based on observation, and is delivered in a way that is not meant to offend or deter. Instead, constructive feedback is delivered to encourage a positive outcome.
Empowering your team means delegating specific tasks to team members and giving them authority over those tasks. This shows that you believe in your team’s capabilities and trust them to take charge of projects when necessary. This form of empowerment can also help team members broaden their skills and boost efficiency.
Leadership isn’t just about keeping to yourself and making decisions solely on your own. It also means working with your team. An interactive leader keeps open lines of communication with their team, connects individuals to their teams via team building, and embraces new perspectives with enthusiasm.
In order to lead, an effective leader must exhibit high-influence behaviors that have an effect on the character, beliefs, actions, and development of their team. With words and examples, leaders set the tone for how projects are executed and have the power to change direction if need be. With low-influence behaviors, leaders will have to work harder to be heard and to have projects completed to their liking.
30. Emotional Intelligence
Empathy, self-awareness, reflection, and compassion are all components of emotional intelligence. Any emotionally intelligent leader is aware and in control of how they express their emotions. By being in control of their emotions, an effective leader can handle their relationship with their team judiciously and respectfully. Emotional intelligence creates a healthy work environment in which everyone feels validated, heard, and respected.
If you don’t possess all the above listed behaviors, don’t worry. These are behaviors that can be honed over time with practice and initiative. Write down the behaviors you wish to develop, and start crafting a clear plan to do so. There is no better time to get started than the present.
The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them
Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years.
So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more.
In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets.
The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years
Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world.
Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views
In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements.
Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites.
Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.
In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution.
Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend
In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won.
Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic.
The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs.
In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding.
Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme
In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages.
Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own.
Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts
In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.
In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all.
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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases
All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world.
The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases.
- No one is safe from ad fraud
Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud.
- Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods
Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud.
Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.
- Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals
Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results.
For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions.
Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised.
- You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet
As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already.
- You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud
Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence.
- But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go
The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals.
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