If you want to lead others and be successful at it, you are going to have to have certain qualities about yourself. The good news is, even if you don’t possess all of these qualities, you can still become a great leader. This is because you can learn these qualities over time. So what are these 8 leadership characteristics? Keep reading below to find out.
8 Leadership Characteristics That Will Make You Great
Honesty builds trust and if those you lead cannot trust you, then you won’t be a very effective leader. As much as the truth hurts sometimes, it is always better than being dishonest. I’ve learned this throughout my life. Even when you think not telling the truth isn’t a big deal, many times you find out that telling the lie was more trouble than it was worth.
When you are honest, people will respect you and look up to you. As a leader, you need to be honest so in good times and bad times, people can know you will tell them the truth.
You can’t lead and do 50 other things at the same time. You need to learn how to delegate duties to other people. Doing so frees up your time to focus on more important issues that are pending and that will arise.
I know some people look at delegating in a negative light. If this is you, you need to change your outlook to a more positive one. When you delegate, you are showing the person you give the work to that you trust them and believe in them. This will motivate them and have them push themselves to be better. It also allows them to continue to learn and grow, which over time helps them to become better as well.
To be an effective leader, you have to be able to communicate with everyone. And when I say communicate, I am not just talking about verbalizing to others. Communication also involves listening as well as body language.
Great leaders make the person they are talking to feel special and important. No matter what is going on around them, a great leader is focused on the conversation at hand. Next time you are in a conversation with someone, try to focus only on them. Don’t look away for any reason. It is much harder than you think, but this is one of the leadership characteristics that you need to master.
I’ve mentioned changing your outlook to the positive a few times already, but a great leader is positive. They have the ability to help you push through things when times get tough. They never look at the negative side, they only focus on the positive.
This isn’t to say they are not aware of the negative possibilities. They are. But they choose to focus their energy on looking at the positive and trying to encourage people to be at their best because they know this is their greatest asset when trying to succeed.
All great leaders are decisive. They know that they have to make decisions, many times quickly, without getting caught up in issues that are not important. They also take charge at a moment’s notice. Doing this allows for the business or unit to continue to run as smoothly as possible and it also allows everyone else to focus on their jobs and not worry about the bigger issues.
To lead, you need to have empathy. You need to be able to relate to your employees, no matter what they are going through. When you do this, you build a strong bond and this makes the employee want to succeed with you and for you.
If you can’t relate to others, then you are going to have a hard time leading them. When they have issues, you won’t be able to solve it, though you think you can. This just leads to frustration for all parties and a lack of success.
Great leaders inspire people. They make others want to do things they otherwise would doubt they could do. This is because a great leader believes in their people. When I was working for a great leader a few years ago, he did this very thing. I never turned down a project he handed to me. I doubted myself when it was offered, but I knew he believed in me and knew I could handle it. This inspired me to try and many times, I ended up completing the project successfully.
Admitting failure ties back in with being honest. No one is perfect. We are all human and we all make mistakes. When you admit you were wrong and failed, you show others that it is OK to fail as well. And this is a good thing.
When we fail, we do so most times because we are pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone. In other words, we are attempting to grow. Any great leader will take note of this and acknowledge it. When we grow, we become better people and we learn from our mistakes.
Becoming A Great Leader
As I mentioned, the good news is that even if you don’t have these qualities now, you can learn them. That is the great thing about life – in most cases, we can improve our situations by working through the issues we face. These 8 leadership characteristics are proof of this.
To learn these leadership characteristics, make sure you understand them and keep them in the back of your mind at all times. When a situation arises where you have to be honest, be honest. When an event occurs that you have to show empathy, learn to start showing it. Image yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel? The more you do this, the better you will become at each of these characteristic traits.