We come across good leaders all the time. They’re those who effortlessly exude charisma and confidence. People follow them without question. They are what we call natural-born leaders. But, don’t get disheartened too quickly. This isn’t to say that those of us who aren’t naturals can’t lead. With some practice and self-confidence, anybody can become an effective team leader.
When it comes down to it, all good leaders share a few common traits. We’ve put together a list of 5 important qualities that good leaders share, to help you to improve your leadership skills.
1 They communicate well
There’s a reason communication is the first quality in this list. Every good leader has great communication skills. They know how to take thoughts from their brain (which is often travelling at 500mph non-stop) and put them into clear, concise words. Everybody has good ideas, but effectively explaining those ideas isn’t always easy. If you can share an idea with somebody without leaving them confused or asking you to repeat what you mean, you know you’re communicating well.
When speaking with their team, good leaders pay attention to how they’re speaking, too. They’re always honest with colleagues and employees, to demonstrate their integrity. Transparency shows that you’re all in this together, and this builds loyalty within the team. They also take care not to dictate when they speak. A true leader will consider all individual work as collaborative. By making employees feel like they’re contributing to the overall success of the company, good leaders ensure employee satisfaction and fulfillment.
It doesn’t stop there. Good leaders know that communication is more than just talking – it’s about listening too. That’s why strong leaders will always interpret messages clearly, and won’t get the wrong end of the stick by reacting emotionally or recklessly.
2 They’re confident
“Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.”
Confidence can be a difficult quality to get right. Too little and you’re shy, too much and you’re arrogant. The key to being genuinely confident is to be assertive in all you do. The saying ‘firm but fair’ is the best way to describe good leaders. They know what they want and they know how they’re going to get there. Most importantly, they believe in their goals. This passion for what they do naturally influences their team, and it’s this clear vision of their goals that instils confidence in their team.
3 They use their intuition
All strong leaders know that they have to use their intuition. In life and in business, you can’t account for every possible scenario. This means that sometimes, you’ll be in uncharted waters. In these situations, you have to learn to trust your gut feelings. Many people ignore their instincts in favour of advice from other people, whether they be colleagues or friends. A good leader, however, will have the confidence to follow their intuition.
By using their common sense as well as their gut feelings, they’re able to make decisive, confident calls in times of uncertainty. As mentioned earlier, this confidence and assertiveness will instil confidence in your team, too.
4 They’re resilient
It doesn’t matter how big your team is. If you can show resilience, you understand what is needed from a leader. In times of difficulty, a team will look up to their leader for their next move. In the face of difficulty, we all have two options – let it break you or fight harder. Good leaders will always go for option 2.
Don’t let setbacks bring you down – you’ll lead by example and prevent your team morale being brought down. Patience, rational planning and calmness can get you out of most tough spots. By employing these qualities, you’ll show your dedication to the success of the company. This will then motivate your team to keep going, and it’ll help you to cultivate an environment of commitment and hard work.
5 They delegate
Some people mistake delegation for a way of simply offloading work that you don’t want to do. This is totally wrong. A good leader understands that delegation is not only important, it’s extremely useful. This is because, when done properly, delegating tasks is a win-win situation for you.
On one hand, taking on the responsibility for everything yourself can be overwhelming. That’s why delegating relevant tasks alleviates some of the stress on your back. Not only that, but it also frees up more of your time to spend on higher up tasks.
On the other hand, delegating the right tasks to the right employees can significantly boost employee satisfaction. Good leaders always identify their team’s strengths, and then capitalise on them by assigning the right kind of tasks to each employee. By doing so, they demonstrate their confidence in their team, which in turn fosters loyalty.
What do you think? Are there any other key qualities you think a good leader should have? Let us know in the comments below.