It takes more than just being in a position of power to be one of the greatest leaders. Almost everyone in a position of power in either a company or government calls themselves leaders. Out of these, only a select few are great leaders.
If history has taught us anything, is that the measure of great leaders is not defined by their roles but by their impact on others. A quick look at look some of the most successful companies or countries like Singapore, you’ll notice that their growth is largely attributed to their great leaders.
Other companies and countries have been trying to emulate the same but they lack leaders with quality leadership traits. What qualities are these?
Quality Leadership Traits Every Great Leader Should Have
When leading a team, leadership is a key factor in its success. The debate on whether a new leader is born or made continues. Overall, these traits have been known to work regardless of the industry you’re in.
1. Honesty and Transparency
Being a leader means that you are in charge of a team and it’s your duty to be straightforward. You can’t your followers to follow in your footsteps if you are not honest. One of the most effective traits of successful leaders is honesty and transparency.
To be a great leader you have to learn how to connect with your employees and earn their trust being transparent.
Regardless of your position always remember that you need your coworkers to thrive. Being in a position of power doesn’t mean that you have to shut off the rest. Great leaders understand that delegating work helps foster a healthy relationship with their subordinates.
Every time you delegate a task to one of your employees you are trusting that they can handle it.
This will not only empower the employees but it will also show them that you appreciate their contributions. Delegating a task to an employee make them feel honored that they were selected to handle the task.
3. Managerial Competence
To fill top leadership positions companies are now trying to foster leadership skills from everyday employees who excel at their jobs. Such employees often possess important qualities and have a good understanding of how the company operates. They also know all the company policies, goals, procedures and process.
All of which are very important, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the traits of a successful leader.
Can they inspire, direct, motivate or mentor? A good example is a football match where some of the most successful players have been unsuccessful at coaching.
Being a leader often entails making decisions and sometimes these decisions will be hard to make. A great leader is not afraid to make the tough calls even in impossible situations. The key to making such decisions is understanding all the variables and processing the information so that you can make an informed decision.
Once you are certain of what to do, don’t hesitate or second guess yourself. Make the decision and stick to it unless you are provided with compelling reasons to change it.
5. Commitment and Passion
You are in charge of a team, a large organization or corporation the least you can do is be passionate about what you do. Members of a team look up to the team leader to guide them. If the team leader is energetic and gets his hands dirty with the rest of the team, they will follow your lead and give their best.
If your subordinates notice that you are not committed, they are likely to lose interest in the task citing your lack of commitment as the cause.
Prove to your team that you are committed and it will not only instill discipline and hard work among your staff but it will also earn you their respect. Displaying commitment will encourage your team members to be committed and you’ll ultimately get good reviews and feedback from your customers.
6. Good Communicator
Knowledge is power and it’s the responsibility of a leader to ensure that all the employees are provided with complete information about the company’s goals, policies, performance, etc.
You also need to provide channels for communication between the managers and the employees. Make it easy for the employees to approach you on issues regarding the company.
Actively solicit input from your subordinates and reward ideas that are geared towards improving the company’s performance.
Good communication skills are one of the many traits of an effective leader. Leaders with poor communication skills are often perceived as weak by their counterparts and mouthed by their subordinates. Remember that communication is a two-way street where you also get to listen to the ideas of your co-workers and superiors.
Great leaders understand the value of loyalty, especially in an organization. Loyalty is also a two-way street. You need to show your team members that you are loyal to them even in times of crisis.
It can be expressed in many ways such as providing your team members with the necessary resources and training they need to do their jobs. You can also stand up for your team in times of conflict.
A great leader doesn’t view their team members as subordinates instead use your position to serve your team.
Other Important Leadership Traits
i. Positivity- Great leaders view challenges as opportunities to grow rather than obstacles. They have a sense of positivity that rubs off on everyone around them.
ii. Cooperation- a great leader has the ability to get his employees to work towards achieving a specific goal not because it’s a directive but because they want to.
iii. Take responsibility- great leaders accept personal responsibility and acknowledge their shortcomings as opposed to making excuses. As a leader, try to use constructive criticism when something goes wrong instead of blaming your team.
iv. Ability to inspire- good leaders have a great sense of purpose and can be trusted to steer their respective teams in the required direction.
These Quality Leadership Traits Define Great Leadership
To become a great leader, you are required to possess most of these quality leadership traits. It doesn’t have to be all the qualities but you need to be committed, passionate, loyal, honest and decisive. Good communication skills will also play a huge role in your ability to lead and delegate work to your team members.
Also, engage your team members in fun activities to foster cooperation and teamwork.
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