Four Vital Traits of Great Leadership
By Alan Olsen
Anyone who holds a position of management, or has manager in his or her title is a leader by definition. However, not all managers are good leaders. The workplace is full of lousy managers. It takes great skills and a conscious effort to be a good leader. These following four traits will play a big role in how successful you become as a leader.
1. Be a Good Coach–have you ever had any coaches that left a positive lasting impression on you? What made them great? Most likely they were great “coaches” and not unruly dictators. Good coaches teach instead of direct and dictate. They lead their teams by example and help them grow and develop. They know when to push and when to pull back and nurture. These kinds of coaches, or leaders, are able to find the right balance between the two and therefore get the most out of their teams. They also understand that each person is different so they must adapt to each individual’s needs.
2. It’s All About Respect–good leaders want respect. But they understand that respect is earned. They also know that respect works both ways. They recognize that when they give others respect, that respect will likely be returned. They trust those they lead to do the job they’ve been hired to do. They don’t micromanage. Instead, they allow their employees to fail and learn from that failure. By trusting their employees to succeed they gain their respect and their trust. Good leaders show respect by working with, and not above, their employees.
3. Master of Communication–communication is vital to the success of any relationship. Good communication leaves little room for error. But it takes practice to become a master communicator. Good leaders understand that there are many styles of communication. They have the ability to tailor their communication to whatever situation arises. They know how to teach, direct, advise, coach, motivate and listen. In fact, good leaders know that good communication starts with excellent listening skills. Practicing the art of good communication is the only way to get better at it. Doing this will allow you to express yourself with clarity, which less room for misunderstanding.
4. Flexibility–are you adept at adapting? If you want to be a great leader you have to learn to be flexible. That means you’re not only capable of handling change, but you’re prepared to adjust and adapt as it happens. Good leaders think fast and make decision quickly. They know that indecisiveness can kill success. Things can change rapidly in the workplace. In some cases, no two days are alike. Good leaders are able to adapt to the ever-changing workplace environment and help their teams adapt, as well. They must be able to focus on both the work process and the people they work with.
You Can Be a Good Leader
Whether your title includes manager or not you can be a leader. And if you’re already a leader then add these traits to your skill set to become a better one.