Being a leader comes with a great set of responsibilities. While some were born to lead, those who don’t naturally possess strong leadership skills can still become leaders as well — That is, if they learn and adopt the essential qualities that define an effective leader.
Here are the seven specific qualities of great leaders:
1. Strong Communication Skills
One of the most important traits of a leader is being able to communicate effectively and persuasively to team members and stakeholders alike.
A good leader must be able to clearly articulate the vision, goals, plans and strategies of the business as well as motivate and direct their team. A good leader also understands the power that words have in driving motivation and achieving desired results.
One of the basic pillars that makes an organisation successful is TRUST.
But, how can a leader gain the trust of their team?
A leader must show truthfulness in all of their actions. As a leader, it is important to understand that you are setting the example of conduct in your organisation. And, if a leader lacks integrity and honesty, it is more than likely that the team members will not model these qualities either. This also affects the team’s perception of their leader and the level of trust that the team members have in their leader and the organisation itself.
An organisation with no foundation of trust will always fail to achieve its goals.
Understanding the problems of your employees and customers is key to becoming an effective leader. The importance of empathy in leadership is superbly summed up in the following statement:
“While we often are focused on profitability and growth, and rightfully so, there are times that we need to remember that our teams are people who often have things going on outside of work. By having empathy and understanding what else is happening in their lives, we can better lead them through the good and bad times.” — Antonella Pisani
The success of a business relies on the efforts of an entire team, and so, being empathetic to the struggles of other team members becomes a crucial part of leadership. A good leader should always communicate with and assist their team members when in need as this can actually impact the performance and productivity of the organisation overall.
A resilient business is the product of a resilient team. A resilient leader is one who rallies their team in both good times and tough times, maintains composure amid adversity, and delivers results even in difficult situations.
A resilient leader maintains a positive mindset and enhances their team’s level of engagement, optimism, confidence and commitment to shared goals. Thus, a leader’s resilience allows the organisation to better achieve its goals and find solutions to problems.
Effective leadership cannot exist without influence. This is because influence is about generating results and change through guidance and inspiration.
The ability of a leader to influence is linked to the effort that the team contributes to achieving the organisation’s specific goals and objectives. For this reason, leaders must continuously work on developing their capacity to influence and inspire others.
A great leader knows how to effectively delegate. Great leaders see the potential in their team. They provide the opportunities, support and resources necessary to allow team members to contribute. They nurture their staff’s hidden abilities.
A great leader is not someone who does everything themselves because they believe that they are the only person who is capable. Rather, a great leader empowers their team to bear responsibilities, acquire new skills, and contribute to the organisation’s development in the aim of creating future leaders.
Confidence is indispensable to great leadership. It is the powerful driving force that motivates the team to trust the leader and collaborate as well.
A leader must show enthusiasm and be passionate enough when planning, strategising and implementing innovative business strategies. Because a confident leader is contagious, the team will also show enthusiasm and have confidence when performing their tasks and responsibilities.
These 7 qualities separate great leaders from the not-so-great ones. Although, some leaders are born with these innate qualities, leadership potential exists for those who adopt these traits and master the related skills and techniques.
Great leadership is key to an organisation’s performance and goal attainment. Thus, organisations must seek out and continually develop these attributes within their leaders and managers.