When it comes to leadership, great leaders will all have several qualities in common. Being able to direct teams, coordinate resources and demonstrate the creativity to drive a business forward are just some of the key attributes that you will find many leaders possess. Strong leaders are those who can inspire and motivate employees to carry out a range of tasks to a high standard.
Working within a managerial role is perhaps one of the most rewarding yet challenging positions that you can occupy. Whether you are just entering the world of leadership or you are a seasoned leader with extensive experience, knowing what traits effective leaders should possess is fundamental to your success. Mainly every leader should know about emotional intelligence.
Great leaders are people who have outstanding managerial capabilities combined with energy, enthusiasm and lots of vision for the future.
Key Qualities Required for Great Leadership
Perhaps one of the most respected and valued quality of a leadership professional is integrity. As one of the most important skills, integrity is about committing to something and then following through on your promises. This certainly builds trust and loyalty within your team. Integrity could include actions such as:
Standing firm on what you believe in and speaking out when something isn’t right
Demonstrating the courage and determination to pursue a course of action even when it presents complex challenges and obstacles and the outcome is far from certain
The best leaders are those who can remain in control and calm, even when those around them are having doubts or debating whether it is the right decision.
When you demonstrate confidence in your decisions, actions and the people who support you this in turn encourages others to have confidence in their own work and abilities. In addition, many leaders possess what is known as courageous patience. This is a term used to describe the period of time between making a decision and waiting for the results. During this time there is always a period of uncertainty when it is difficult to determine whether the outcome is going to be successful and the effort worthwhile.
Competence and Character
When you are in a leadership role, trust is one of the most important attributes to display. If you cannot be trusted, the whole reputation of the business, your staff, your products and services is at risk, but in order to be trusted you must be trustworthy. As a manager you are more likely to be trusted as a leader if you believe in yourself, the decisions that you make, the company and the people who work for you. It is important that you genuinely believe that you are offering products and/or services that are valuable to the customer and they really make a difference. Being at the head of a company that you are proud of is crucial to building a great company.
Whatever your beliefs outside of work, good leaders are those who are honest. Honest about the claims you make in relation to the products or services that you sell and honest to your employees, partners and stakeholders. Any business is a reflection of its leader and if you place honesty and ethical decisions at the centre of your vision and values, your team will follow. Leaders should be integral in defining the values of the company and promoting these to customers and employees.
As a successful leader you must learn to delegate. Refining your brand, vision and values is essential to creating an efficient and finely tuned business. But if you don’t learn to trust your team to follow through your ideas and values it can be difficult to move forwards. Trusting your team with an idea is a sign of strength in leadership. As a leader who everyone looks up to, it is your responsibility to delegate tasks with skill and care, assigning work to the right departments. The more you take on yourself the more quality and standards will suffer and productivity will decline.
The key to success when it comes to delegation is identifying the strengths of the teams who support your business and taking advantage of this. Find out about each member of team, explore their strengths and weaknesses and then assign work accordingly. Allocating work in this manner will ensure that the work is completed with greater enthusiasm and the employee will take more time and effort to complete the task. This not only boosts productivity but it gives them faith that you trust them and their abilities. It will also help free up more of your time to focus on the tasks that cannot be delegated.
Of all the qualities that a good leader has, communication has to be one of the most important. Being able to communicate what you need both clearly and concisely is essential in any workplace. If you can’t communicate your vision, values and expectations to your team, it is almost impossible to work towards and achieve the same objectives. Good leaders are those who provide quality training experiences for their staff and create productive working environments. All of these require strong communication skills. If the company is hit by a major technical issue, there are problems with finances or the business is going through a period of change, employees will look towards leaders to provide clear communications and reassurance during difficult times.
Strong leaders realise that a business cannot develop a motivated and happy team if they are not motivated themselves. Motivation can be demonstrated through remaining positive even in adverse situations, creating a relaxed and happy place to work. Even small incentives such as providing staff with cup cakes on a Friday can make all the difference. Team members are more likely to work harder and agree to overtime if they feel appreciated and content with their work. Positivity can also be encouraged by providing inspiration to your team and acknowledging the work that they carry out, commending them on their individual and collective efforts. If leaders are positive then teams are too.
Making small changes can have a significant impact on your organisation. Being a great leader doesn’t happen overnight and it requires patience, determination and the drive to succeed.