5 Qualities of a Strong Leader
Understanding what qualities many effective leaders share is a great way to improve your own leadership. While you may naturally possess some leadership qualities, you may need to work on others. Being aware of what some of these qualities are will help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses and develop your leadership skills. Here are five key traits that will make you a leader people feel lucky to work for:
Passion: A good leader is passionate about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality content, then the best way to achieve this is to lead by example. Leaders need to be seen as part of the team working towards the goal; employees feel more motivated about their own roles when they see the enthusiasm and hard work their leader is putting in. The passion a great leader feels for their job lends itself to a more hard working and committed team.
Vision: Part of being a successful leader is about creating a vision of the future of the company and knowing the best ways to get there. Working towards this vision is far more inspiring than working towards personal gain. Great leaders motivate others towards goals by establishing strategies, processes and routines that facilitate high performance.
Communication: The ability to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done is extremely important for a leader to develop. If communication is a problem within a company then it is up to a leader to determine why and begin to tackle these barriers. If you can’t explain your vision to your team, you won’t be working towards the same goal. Conversely, if you’re not willing to hear to your team, they will be less likely to listen to you. Communication is not just about speaking well, but also making sure you are understood, and doing your best to understand others.
Approach: Some people work well under pressure, others don’t; some respond well to tough love, others prefer a more gentle approach. To be an effective leader, you must have the ability to customise your approach to an individual based on the situation at hand. This includes both one-on-one communication and within a group.
Self-assessment: Effective leaders are willing to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging your shortcomings will allow you to delegate tasks to others who have abilities you may lack, in order to achieve a common goal. Self-assessment does not stop at the acknowledgement of these strengths and weaknesses, however; working on areas of weakness also improves your leadership ability – and recognising these faults makes you more human. Great leaders understand that a team’s abilities should complement each other, and will hire people that make a team more well-rounded.
Most of these traits tie directly back to emotional intelligence. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are more willing to self-assess. They understand their own mental processes and know how to direct themselves and others. They’re more in touch with what they’re deeply passionate about. They’re more socially minded and understand how best to connect with others.