10 Characteristics of Great Leaders

10 Characteristics of Great Leaders

Contrary to popular belief, the best leaders are not born with innate leadership skills. A leader's strengths often develop as a result of hard work and effort to develop these qualities. Great leaders thrive when they look for opportunities to test their leadership skills, ask for feedback, and adapt as needed.

If you want to learn how to become an effective leader, you need to know the most important leadership skills and take the necessary steps to develop these skills yourself.


What Makes a Good Leader?

There is no clear definition of a good leader. People with great leadership skills may be different from other leaders, but that does not necessarily make them more effective than other leaders. 

A sign of a good leader is that he has the respect of his team and is willing to help with the workload to achieve the team's goals. Strong leaders are essential, especially in an ever-evolving world. 

From community organizations and volunteer groups to professional associations and corporations, effective leaders enable people to work together to achieve goals.


Know your Leadership Style

There are many different leadership styles, and as you begin to focus on developing your leadership skills, it's important to know which leadership style best suits your personality and leadership position. According to the IMD, the most common leadership styles are:

• Transformational Leadership: If you are a transformational leader, you may want to inspire your team to become their best selves. Transformational leaders emphasize change and positive development.

• Delegation of Leadership: If you want more access to leadership, you can become a delegation leader. Delegating leaders prefer to delegate tasks to their teams and give them the space they need to achieve their goals.

• Authoritarian Leadership: Although often confused with autocratic or authoritarian leadership, the authoritarian leadership style is actually not as scary as it seems. An authoritative leader acts as a leader or mentor and encourages his team to follow his lead.

• Transactional Leadership: Also known as managerial leadership, this leadership style is based on rewarding positive behavior and punishing non-conformity. This is a structured and organized form of leadership often used in corporate settings.

• Participative Leadership: Participative leadership encourages all team members to participate in leadership. As a participative leader, you tend to involve your team members in decision making. You can weigh different opinions before making a final decision.

• Servant Leadership: Servant leadership focuses on building relationships. If you tend to put the needs of the group before your own personal needs or desires, you may be perceived as a servant leader. You may not have a specific leadership style, but rather a mixture of different styles.

By combining elements of one leadership style with another, you begin to understand who you are as a leader.

Here you can develop specific leadership qualities that will help you become an effective and influential leader.


10 Leadership Skills to Focus On

10 Characteristics of Great Leaders

As you begin to understand who you are and who you want to be as a leader, you can begin to focus on the leadership skills that will make you the most effective leader.

Here are some of the skills leaders are looking for across industries and sectors:

1. Honesty

Of course, honesty is considered one of the most important leadership qualities. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, integrity is especially important for those who want to move into leadership positions later in their careers.

An honest leader is honest and makes decisions for the organization based on his moral standards and values. People with strong integrity are motivated to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. Whether they have public or private work, they make the same decisions. People known for their honesty are generally viewed as respectable, approachable, honest, fair and trustworthy. This is another reason why it is really important for effective leadership.


2. Self-Awareness

Better Up defines self-awareness as the ability to recognize how your actions, thoughts, and decisions affect others. Confident people know they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. They can seek help building on their strengths and addressing their weaknesses to improve their organizations and teams.

Self-awareness is essential for anyone in a leadership position because it allows leaders to know their own limitations. As a confident leader, you can recognize when there is enough time to manage and delegate tasks to the rest of the team accordingly.


3. Empathy

Empathy has become more important than ever, especially in a multicultural world. Empathetic leaders are able to recognize the emotions of others and seek to understand their perspectives. In fact, if you strive to be an empathetic leader, you will naturally develop stronger bonds with your team.

Empathy is one of the best ways to maintain professional relationships. Because empathy allows you to know how others feel and recognize how a leader's decisions affect the entire team. Businesses and corporations across all industries are discovering that empathetic leaders can create better, more inclusive and productive workplace cultures. Empathetic leaders make everyone feel like valuable team members.


4. Communication

To be an effective leader, you must strive to be an effective communicator. Good communication skills are one of the most sought-after skills among professionals in any industry because good communication skills mean you know how to work well with others.

A good communicator:

• Listen to others and understand their needs.

• Explain clearly and effectively what needs to be done.

• Provide assignments.

• You need the right skills to get your message across in the most effective way.

Leaders with effective communication skills are able to present their direction clearly, concisely and systematically.

Plus, because we have an open-door policy, your team knows they can always hear from you.


5. Active Listening

Active listening is a type of listening that goes beyond being willing to listen to someone. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, leaders who actively listen are able to understand what someone is saying, think about what they are saying, and even remember that information in the future.

Active listening requires you to give your full attention to the person you are talking to.

During a conversation, you need to be fully present and remember what the other person is sharing with you. This will help you remember what the other person said later and trust their perspective when making decisions that shape your team or organization.

6. Growth Mindset

Leaders who work to develop a growth mindset are often resilient, adaptable and adaptable. People with a growth mindset don't get discouraged when faced with challenges. Rather, it gives you the strength to overcome difficulties and overcome obstacles.

A growth mindset is the belief that people can change and improve even if they make mistakes or fail. People with a growth mindset know that they can become better versions of themselves by continuing to improve their skills and abilities.

Of course, the opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that they have abilities and disabilities and that they cannot improve or change them. It's clear, then, why the world's most effective leaders today adopt a growth mindset and encourage their teams to do the same.

A growth mindset is the belief that people can change and improve even if they make mistakes or fail. People with a growth mindset know that they can become better versions of themselves by continuing to improve their skills and abilities.


7. Patient

Patience is not just a virtue. Patience is a skill that can be developed over time. The best leaders are patient and understanding. They know they are not perfect and their teammates are not perfect, so they are willing to accept mistakes and encourage growth. 

Being a patient leader does not necessarily mean being passive or accepting slow results. Rather, it means being willing to gently guide and nurture those around you so that they have the freedom to be better in a positive and hopeful environment.


8. Optimistic

The most famous leaders are known for their optimistic outlook. They are able to stay positive despite setbacks and truly believe that their organization will improve over time.

It's important to remember that optimistic leaders tend to see things positively, but they don't necessarily ignore negative experiences or disappointing failures. They are aware of this situation but can see it positively. 

They recognize challenges but see them as opportunities to grow and improve. As an optimistic leader, you can inspire your team to adopt a positive attitude and focus on the best aspects of every situation.


9. Decision-Making

Decision making is an important part of leadership, and the best leaders are able to make clear and correct decisions quickly. In fact, when you are in a leadership position, your team relies on you. You are the person they look to for guidance.

As a result, you are expected to make decisions that benefit the team and allow the group to achieve its goals in a short period of time. Leaders who cultivate other leadership qualities, such as honesty, trust, and courage, tend to make better decisions and be more confident when making choices for their organization.


10. Transparent

Transparency has long been an important aspect of leadership. Open leaders make decisions without secrets and are willing to explain why certain plans were made. In addition, transparent leaders are willing to accept the opinions of those around them and take the necessary steps to adapt accordingly.

Transparency creates trust throughout the team because they know why certain decisions were made and how the plan is working going forward. By striving for transparency, you will earn the trust and respect of those who work for you.

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