The journey to becoming a leader is never an easy one, whether you are moving ahead in your career or stepping forward as an entrepreneur. They encounter various situations, emotions, useful, and stressful times. A great leader has a definite vision and courage to lead the team to success, regardless of the situation they are facing. After all, different situations require different leadership styles, and great leaders are capable of adapting to their surrounding environment.
Being a leader is more than managing and operating a business; you have the responsibility to inspire confidence and commitment. Great leaders know how to maintain a balance between business goals, performance, and character. Our Society is quick to identify a bad leader, but do you know what makes a great leader?
There are many schools of thought, highlighting leadership traits. Look below to see some characteristics of great leaders.
1. HONESTY & INTEGRITY
A great leader is the one who doesn’t fear the truth; he/she is honest to themselves and others. Honestly is the foundation of building trust amongst people working in organizations, crucial for the success of the business. If a leader is dishonest, then employees are likely to follow the same footsteps. Thus, you have to lead by sticking to your values and beliefs to set an example. Honesty and integrity are two assets that make a leader great and worthy of trust.
Many people look up to their leaders, and some even want to become like them. Alongside being courteous, honest, a leader has to be knowledge. You have to keep yourself updated with all the trends and technological innovations, allowing you to school your employees regarding it. Look for trending topics, attend webinars, read blogs, and researches pertinent to the field of your expertise.
Similarly, they should have a strong educational background – for instance, a Masters in Education Policy and leadership to understand the responsibilities of a leader. They should have enough knowledge to deal with high-pressure situations. Remember, learning never stops, keep exploring ways to learn more, and become the version of yourself.
3. RESILIENT & FLEXIBLE
Previously, leaders had to create performance appraisals to monitor the progress of employees, but now, automated tools do it for them. It means a great leader is flexible and resilient, adapting themselves to the changing situations. Unlike any boss, who might complain about poor economic conditions, a leader focuses on solutions and can cope with on-going circumstances. They know how to stand their energy under the high-pressure situation, boosting the morale of employees, while moving forward instead of getting stuck at the same point.
4. RECOGNIZES ACCOMPLISHMENT
Do you appreciate your employees for their efforts? Great leaders know the secret of maintaining a productive and happy office environment. They promote an organizational culture, where they recognize and acknowledge employees for their accomplishments publicly. Alongside keeping them motivated, employees are willing to take more responsibilities. Besides, leaders don’t believe in motivating workers only through monetary rewards, but they applaud, appreciate, and praise them for their work, which is equally valid.
5. GOOD COMMUNICATOR
Usually, in organizations, employees don’t communicate with their bosses directly. An effective leader knows how to bridge the gap by holding meetings and discussions every week. They explain strategies and goals to employees since their words have the power to make people perform well. At the same time, they understand the differences between audiences when it comes to communication. They know who they are talking to and adapt the mode of communication accordingly. For instance, when recruiting domestic workers, instead of using social media, they give advertisements in the newspaper.
6. INSPIRES OTHERS
Everyone wants others to like them, but a great leader knows how to make others follow them. It only becomes possible when you can encourage your followers by evolving yourself into a person they want to look up. Therefore, you need to set a decent example to become a role model for them. It includes your problem-solving skills, how calmly you deal with situations, and overcome challenges. All these things become visible in your attitude, and employees are likely to follow your footsteps when dealing with a similar situation.
7. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Employees are tirelessly sweating for companies to make them climb the stairs of success. They need someone to have their back and support them in tough times. Good leaders can manage emotions with better social awareness and seamless communication. They connect with their employees emotionally by showing empathy and understating their situation. Likewise, they know how to control emotions, basing their decisions solely on rational facts, data, and information. It is a great help when it comes to handling conflicts in the organization.
Although leaders are empathic and supportive, they should be confident enough to ensure everyone follows the instructions. If you are not confident about your decisions and abilities, do you think employees would look up to you? As a leader, you have to be polite and assertive at the same time to gain the respect of subordinates. However, don’t make the mistake of being overconfident since employees might perceive such behavior in the wrong way.
9. POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Believe it or not, no one is perfect; humans are full of flaws and can make mistakes. Sometimes, leaders develop a superiority complex, failing to see their faults and blaming the employees for poor results. Well, a great leader knows how to acknowledge his mistake, keeping aside ego. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses due to which they welcome feedback with a positive attitude. These leaders encourage debates and open discussions to promote a professional environment. They are good listeners and don’t hesitate to learn from their subordinates.
Anyone can become a leader, but only a great leader knows how to think out of the box. It is essential to come up with unique strategies to make your business stand out from the crowd. Leaders have to put their creative skills to use and spring up unique ideas and strategies to turn business goals into reality. For example, if you are a marketing manager, consider developing an exclusive campaign that draws attention. In short, creativity and innovation distinguish a follower from a leader.
According to the ‘great man,’ leaders are born not made since they naturally have these traits. However, if one learns these traits and adopts the characteristics, they can turn out to be an equally great leader. Leadership is all about ‘leading’ your followers instead of giving orders to them; it more like delegating than commanding. Besides, you might be at the initial of your career, but preparing yourself for becoming a future leader is an incredible idea. Look above to see the characteristics of a leader.