There is a lot that goes into being a good leader, and leaders have many qualities that help them guide a team of people. You can be born with those qualities, or you can gain them as you learn to become a leader. Either way, there are many qualities that brilliant leaders must possess. Here are just 10 of those important qualities.
- Good Communication Skills
“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” -James Humes
Communication is probably the most important quality of any team. It determines everything. If a team has a bunch of skilled workers with great ideas, but they aren’t able to communicate them, it does nothing for the team. Communication starts with a leader, and as a leader you need to be able to create an open dialogue between the team. A leader also needs to create an atmosphere of trust and safety, so that the whole team can feel comfortable communicating with each other.
Communication is also important because it helps the whole team know exactly what they need to be doing. A leader needs to be able to effectively communicate the needs of the company, and the responsibilities of each of its employees. With good communication, there will be a lot less confusion between the team and their roles.
“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” -Dalai Lama
Great leaders are transparent. Make sure that as a leader, you keep everything important about your company out in the open. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to show every little detail about your business, like your financial information. Being transparent means showing your audience and employees important actions taken within the business. To be transparent, all of your business decisions must be fair, legal, and ethical. By being transparent, you can build trust between you, your team, and your audience.
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” -James E. Faust
Honesty goes hand in hand with transparency. Always be honest in every business situation, and you won’t find yourself in an awkward situation later. Honesty in a business can mean being honest about numbers or data you are sharing. It could also mean being honest with your employees about their work performance. There are many ways to be honest in business, but there are more ways to be dishonest. Make sure to always tell the truth and choose integrity.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey
Leaders need to be able to make decisions. Not only do you have to be able to make decisions, but you have to make intelligent decisions that will be good for everyone. This means that leaders have to take into account all members on their team, and choose what is right for everyone. This is not an easy task. It often takes a lot of time, research, and some risk. Leaders also need to be committed to their decisions once they make them. Try not to go back on any decisions you make.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” -Albert Einstein
Great leaders need to be able to think outside of the box, which means they have to be creative thinkers. When you have a creative imagination, you can come up with more innovations, and abstract solutions to problems. Leaders are faced with so many problems on a daily basis, and some can only be solved with creativity.
“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” -Brian Tracy
In order for others to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself first. You need to believe that all of the steps you are taking and decisions you are making for your business are best for the whole team. Your confidence in those decisions, or doubt in those decisions, will show. People want leaders who are confident, because it helps them feel better about the situation.
Being confident, however, doesn’t mean being bossy. If you’re bossy, no one will want to listen to you. You can still feel really confident, and you can let your confidence show in your attitude! That doesn’t mean being bossy, arrogant, or pompous. You can stand up tall, speak with power, and still show off your confidence without acting like you are above anyone else. This is the kind of confidence that people will want to emulate.
- Positive Attitude
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” -Willie Nelson
Leaders face a lot of difficulties and obstacles, so it is important that you keep a positive attitude. Being positive will keep you afloat during difficult times, because you won’t let it get you down. If you lose a positive or optimistic attitude, it is a lot more difficult to persevere. Positive thinkers are able to more easily come up with solutions to their problems and keep moving forward.
By staying positive, you’re also benefiting your team. Nobody wants to work with someone who they have to walk around eggshells with all the time. Positive people create a positive atmosphere, which is great for the workplace. They are also really approachable, another really important quality in a leader. If no one can approach the leader, nothing will be accomplished.
“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” -Miguel Ruiz
As a leader, you might face a lot of negativity, often directed towards you. As a leader, you can’t let anything like that get you down. You need to be able to stay strong so that you can direct and guide everyone else on your team. If you can ignore the negativity, you will be a good leader. Along with being thick-skinned, you must also be able to take responsibility for a myriad of things, even if they are not your fault. You can’t go blaming others or looking for scapegoats. Own up to the problem and find a way to fix it.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” -George Addair
Great leaders can’t be afraid of anything. Most importantly, they can’t be afraid of failure or taking risks. Leaders often have to take risks in order to get ahead, and that is a good thing. You can’t be afraid of failing, because you will be a lot less likely to take risks, but then you will most likely stay stagnant. If you let go of that fear of failure, you’ll be able to get ahead, and not be afraid to go out on a limb.
- Ability to delegate
“The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” -Anthea Turner
Leaders can’t do everything on their own. You need a team of people to help you accomplish your goals. Too often, Type-A personalities and perfectionism get in the way, and people want to do everything on their own. Leaders cannot fall victim to this. You will become overworked and be unable to accomplish everything you need to do in the amount of time you have. Being able to delegate is a really important skills, and knowing who to delegate which tasks to is even more important. Get to know your team, and you will be able to sign tasks to the people best able to do them.
If you want to lead, but don’t possess all of these qualities, don’t worry! You can work on honing your communication skills, or learn to conquer your fears. Whatever your setback is, I can help. If you’d like to work on developing these skills and becoming a leader, contact me at 801.602.9101.