7 Traits of a Great Leader
February 12, 2020
Different leaders can pursue wildly different goals, but the most successful leaders share a whole lot in common.
They know how to manage resources, including their time, emotion and habits as well as those of others, using highly effective tactics and strategies. They manage risks, call the shots in a timely fashion, and explore strengths and weaknesses to achieve goals and interests. From cheap team building activities in Sydney to employee incentives, team meetings and training, great leaders know when and how to deploy various resources to secure excellent engagement from their team towards their goals.
While it can be quite a daunting task to grow your leadership skills, you might only need to develop a few traits to improve your leadership style. In this article, we examine the most important of the common traits shared by great leaders. These traits of a great leader, which have been thoroughly reviewed through the lenses of behavioural theorists, are the main determinants of a leader’s ability to inspire followers and get them committed to a cause.
Communication is central to team work, and good leaders excel in managing communication flow across organisations. From employees to partners, suppliers, shareholders, and customers, great leaders know how to ensure that the right message is passed across to every relevant stakeholder. They’re deft with multiple communication channels and modes, from one-to-one conversations to departmental circulars, team memos, public broadcasts, social media, and more.
Not only are great leaders excellent with speech, they’re also masters of non-verbal cues like eye-contact, body posture, etc. They’re also good listeners, showing care and empathy to their employees to make them feel their voices have been heard in important matters.
Without such intricate communication skills, it can be difficult to keep the wheels of your organisation turning smoothly, especially during challenging times.
Integrity means the absence of any delusion both to yourself and others. It implies being real, honest, and down to earth at all times, whether you’re with company or all by your self. One great thing about integrity is that it’s contagious, and it rubs off on your employees if you demonstrate it beyond doubt.
Integrity compels you to remain true to your core values and principles in every circumstance. Without it, your leadership might lack the predictability and reliability needed to run your organisation smoothly. Sometimes, it’s not easy to keep your integrity intact. You might need to apologise for mistakes, give more chances for your employees to make amends for failures, give credit to others instead of taking the glory, and share bitter, ugly truths with your employees.
Responsibility and Accountability
Responsibility and accountability are some of the most crucial traits that distinguish a great leader from a weak one. Being responsible and accountable as a leader isn’t optional in some instances. You must be quick to take the blame for bad results as long as you may be tempted to take credit for good results, even if your employees were more directly involved in the efforts that led to the outcomes. Accountability and responsibility reinforces each other; the more accountable you are, the more responsible you get, and vice versa.
Responsibility and accountability are the main pillars of trust in an organisation. By clearly demonstrating these traits, a leader eliminates any room for excuses and makes everyone reliable and dedicated team members.
As a leader, you need to connect with your employees on a deeper level to get the best of them. You can’t inspire and motivate your employees if you don’t consider their dreams, personal strengths and weaknesses, and their unique personality traits.
Empathy doesn’t necessarily imply being soft and easy going with your employees. It’s about understanding their personal needs in order to create work flows, strategies, and ground rules that inspire loyalty and commitment in them. With deep empathy, you’re more likely to preempt your employees, eliminate obstacles that impede their productivity, boost their creativity, and improve their problem-solving skills.
Connecting with your employees and other stakeholders on a deeper level requires you to be on their level and put your personal achievements aside. If you’re aloof and far-removed from your employees because they don’t have the same level of your training and expertise, you may be missing out on some highly important things that can take your business to another level, including the crucial qualities lacking in you.
By coming off as vulnerable and imperfect, you don’t necessarily project yourself as being weak, but you show others how important their contributions can be to your organisation. Being humble helps you find answers more quickly, but pride will prevent you from seeking help and asking questions that can lead to a breakthrough.
Your ability to inspire your employees firmly rests on your positivity, energy, and confidence, because these are the attributes that employees notice more quickly than others. If your attitude towards life is generally melancholic, you make it harder for your employees to find the motivation and spark they need to cope with the stress and challenges of your workplace. But when confidence and positivity oozes from the leadership, employees are often psyched up to endure the stress and challenges and remain focused on achieving the organisation’s goals.
Enthusiasm and courage becomes even more vital during challenging times when your company needs to bounce back from a setback. You can use a host of resources and strategies to inspire courage and enthusiasm in your employees to pull through hard times, including through cheap team building activities in Sydney, group incentives, training, etc.
Without vision, innovation, and creativity, it can be quite challenging to develop the resilience and influence you need to remain competitive in your business. Vision is an exercise in creativity, intelligence, and forward-thinking. Vision is the wheelhouse of strategic thinking, imbuing forward-planning with direction and decisiveness. Vision drives an organisation into the future, helping the organisation navigate pitfalls and uncertainties.
These are the traits that differentiate good leaders from great ones. They help guide leaders to make decisions and take actions that put their organisations in leading positions. They help leaders inspire unwavering trust, loyalty and commitment in their followers.
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