What are the best qualities of a great leader?
As you think about your life, you will remember experiencing both great leaders and people who were terrible at leadership. This could have been a scout leader, a team captain, or a work manager. When you look back at any of these leaders you will see qualities in each that you liked better than others.
Leadership qualities have changed very little over time.
Management has changed but leadership has not. A leader today requires the same skills and understanding as a leader did 100 years ago. As an inspiring leader we can learn from the good leaders in our lives, the ones who have made a positive impact in our life. When you work on improving your leadership skills pay attention to the following qualities and apply them to become the best leader possible.
You need to be Honest – As a leader you want to be honest with the people who follow you. Being honest is a quality of a great person. People respect leaders who are honest even when the information to be shared is not positive. All the great qualities of leadership begin with honesty. To be successful with your followers you must always be honest.
You need to be able to inspire others – As a leader you have to be able to inspire other people to be more than they think they can be. When you look at a project or opportunity you have to be able to inspire the people working with you to see the opportunity in a positive way. Leading people who are inspired by your leadership makes the team more effective.
You must have commitment to the purpose – when you are committed to a purpose in life or business it enables you to be a more effective leader. Leadership without purpose is like a business without a product or service to sell. When you are focused on a purpose you can fine tune your leadership to ensure you are successful. People always work harder when there is a commitment to purpose under the right leader.
You must be Passionate – Passionate people follow passionate leaders. As a leader the more passionate you can be about a project the more people will rally behind you. The problem with passion is it can cause you to potentially miss some important facts. This can sometimes occur if you become too passionate about the project. Focus and passion go hand and hand and must be used together. Accept input from others to help you stay on track.
You need to be a Great Communicator – Communication is one of the most important aspects of leadership. If you cannot communicate your message to your team you will not be successful. Communication skills can be improved, so as a leader you want to work on them daily.
Remember that verbal communication involves talking and listening to others. A good leader will listen twice as much as they speak. This is the best way to get the most from your team. The questions you can ask as a leader will help you develop your team and reach your mutual goals together.
Improve Your Decision Making Abilities – As a great leader you must be able to use all the information available from other people, data, and insights. Once you have collected all the information, use that information to make a decision. You must make a decision and move your company or project forward. Inaction will harm a project and your leadership. When there is a vacuum in leadership someone else will step in to fill that void and make the decision. You don’t want this to happen, so make the decision. If you use all the information available to make an educated decision, then even when you’re wrong you are still moving forward.
You must be Accountable – When you are the leader, you are accountable for everyone working with you. Always accept the responsibility for the actions and decisions of your team. Your team will respect you as a leader when the buck stops with you.
You may not always be able to shield the others from the fall out from every bad decision, but your job as a leader is to place yourself in that position of being accountable and accepting the outcome.
Learn to Delegate effectively – Most leaders at some point, will get overwhelmed by the amount of work being placed on them. It is usually at this point where great leaders learn to delegate effectively. Poor leaders will continue to try to do the work themselves and may eventually burn out.
When we talk about delegating effectively we mean the activity of assigning tasks to people with the authority to complete those tasks. It also means effective follow up to ensure the tasks are being completed in a timely manner. You don’t want the person doing the work to get stuck on an activity without knowing they can approach you for clarification or assistance.
You must be Creative – When it comes to leadership you have to be creative in the way you handle people. Not every person will behave the same way or will have the same level of education. Therefore you need to be creative in handling each person and tailor your message to each individual experience. Being creative also means taking advantages of opportunities based upon the information provided. This is true when you don’t have 100% of the information but you still need to make a decision. Be creative and understanding; your people will respect you.
Always be emphatic – Every person has things going on in their life that may be difficult for them. This could be sickness, death of a family member, money issues, etc. As a leader you have to be emphatic when interacting with the people you lead. Give them the support they need to get the work completed as well as to deal with issues that may arise. People respect leaders who in turn respect them. If you communicate with your team members frequently and maintain an open door policy, it makes it much easier for you to understand your people and help them reach your combined goals.
Leadership is a complex activity.
When you study leaders you will notice that most effective leaders value and respect people. All the qualities of a great leader deal with how you interact with others and their response to you. If you are honest and sincere with people they will give you the opportunity to lead them.
You must simply remember that you are working together towards a common goal, and everyone comes to work each day to do a good job. The people who are not giving 100% may be dealing with personal issues.