If you want to see the company you work for to succeed, it is important to identify strong leaders or learn the traits to become one yourself. Strong leaders do more than good work; they are able to rally their coworkers around them and motivate them to constantly improve their quality of work. While many leaders seem natural, the traits they possess are learnable. Obtaining strong leadership skills will undoubtedly improve the quality of your work and help you potentially take on management positions yourself. Additionally, strong leadership skills will help you outside of work. Being a leader for your family and amongst your friends will improve the quality of your life.
Here are 7 of the top qualities good leaders have:
Confidence is undoubtedly one of the supreme leadership skills. How can a leader motivate and lead their peers without being confident in their own work or in their decisions? A leader lacking confidence will eventually fail; a lack of confidence is easy to spot and will cast doubt on his or her authority. Similarly, a confident leader is easy to spot and will boost support. Being right or wrong is not necessary to be confident. Of course, it is better to be right, but even when wrong a confident leader will be able to learn from mistakes a continue to lead.
An accountable leader is someone with integrity and honesty. He or she is someone you can trust with work or with problems. An accountable leader knows that he or she is responsible for the mistakes of his or her teammates and is eager to work with the team to improve. On the contrary, someone who is quick to blame teammates or quick to accept credit for something they were not entirely responsible is unaccountable and unfit to lead.
Motivation is perhaps the most challenging skill good leaders obtain. It is more than just a fiery speech. A strong leader motivates with words but more importantly with their own example, how they delegate responsibility and treat their team. It might not always seem like it, but motivation is an all-encompassing skill that can never rest. You never know when your words or actions might have the potential to spark some motivation.
A strong leader is always open to new ideas and change within their organization. A strong leader would never neglect the opinion of their teammates. Strong leaders know that they are not knowledgeable of every subject and might not be able to identify problems or solutions as effectively as others might be. They are open to criticism and are willing to delegate responsibility so that their organization is best suited to further development.
All successful teams require strong communication skills. This is best exemplified within a sporting context. Examine the best basketball or football team of all time. In each case there was undoubtedly a point guard, quarterback or linebacker who was able to communicate strategy efficiently within their team despite the intensity of the situation. While work might not be as intense as a big-time basketball or football game, the strong communication skills are nonetheless necessary to succeed.
Another all encompassing trait is passion. A strong leader embraces the companies mission wholeheartedly and is fully committed to his or her tasks. They know that they might not enjoy every aspect of their job but they are committed to the long term mission and are passionate about the impact his or her work will have. Someone who constantly complains about work and brings everyone down is certainly unfit for leadership.
This trait might strike you as odd, but it is an important trait to have as a leader. The ability to hold a conversation and listen to your teammates, crack a few jokes or talk about everyday things will make you a better leader. It will help keep the support high, especially during tough times. Take the time to get to know your teammates, what interests them or how their family life is. This ability is often overlooked, but anyone will tell you that working with a guy who is relatable and down to earth makes work more enjoyable.
These characteristics give a brief overview of what it takes to be a strong leader. As you venture from job to job you will see varying degrees of each trait and how these differences make or break leaders. Learning these skills yourself might help you take on a leadership position yourself. Regardless though, learning these skills will improve the overall quality of your life and the relationships you build. Identify the traits you may be deficient in and start focusing on them within your different teams!