Do you have the ten traits of a good leader? Do you want to be a good leader? Or do you just want to follow along? In our society today, we have a lot of followers with labels like democrats or republicans. They vote for the ticket, not for the person. But few people are independent thinkers that have leadership abilities. So what are these abilities?
A good leader has these ten traits.
A good leader is a good communicator. He can speak so that everyone in the company understands. He’s open to feedback and everyone’s ideas. This requires skills in public speaking, storytelling, and coaching. If you want to improve these skills toastmasters is a good way to do that. But the best way to get comfortable with this is just to do it.
- Vision for the future:
A good leader has a vision for where they want the team, department, or company to go in the future. He can share and communicate that vision to everyone. This vision is the signpost or goal at the end of the road that everyone sees. Making sure everyone knows where you’re going helps to ensure that you can get there.
- Empowering people:
The leader isn’t the star he’s the one the grows and supports others on the team. Think of a coach, he has many assistants and you know he’s a leader when the assistants go on to be head coaches elsewhere. They were empowered to succeed. Empowering them allows them to try and fail without losing their position. Failure creates a coaching opportunity to analyze why the failure happened and helps identify ways to avoid it in the future.
The leader has to be brave because success or failure is always their fault and their responsibility. Ultimately the team, department, or company leader is responsible for everything. A good leader can take criticism for his staff. They don’t use their staff as scapegoats to make themselves look good.
- Knowing Yourself:
A leader has to know himself. They must know their strengths and weaknesses so they can surround themselves with talented complementary people. Self-deception is one of the traits of a bad leader. They don’t know themselves. They live in an alternate reality where they’re never wrong. If you want to lead spend time understanding yourself and your motivations.
- Relationship Building:
Relationships are one of the most important skills a leader or anyone who wants to be a leader can develop. You can always build relationships and build up those around you. Building up others is always better than tearing people down.
- Learning mindset:
A leader has to always be in a learning mode. Learning about competitors, and trends, and always questioning where the future is that they’re chasing. Having a stagnant mind will lead to disaster. You must always consider the world around you and your place in it both now and in the future.
A good leader values their people and their talents. They aren’t putting people down but building them up. How you treat people is one of the most important skills of a good leader.
Listening is one of the most underused skills in today’s environment. All the other traits fade if you don’t listen to others without shooting the messenger. If you don’t listen, how will you know what is going on? If you don’t listen well for understanding then you will miss part of the message.
Listening isn’t enough, you must ask questions to ensure you understand what you’re hearing. A good leader doesn’t assume they know they ask clarifying questions to ensure they get a clear understanding. Assuming you know will always lead to misunderstanding and future trouble.
As you think about leadership and taking the next career step, ponder these traits and improve your weaknesses and use your strengths. Any one of us can lead if we’re willing to learn and exemplify these traits.