I am sure you have heard some version of the infamous saying “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile” by Vince Lombardi.
Acquiring the qualities of a good leader is not something that happens overnight, but it is something that can be learned and developed because there are essential characteristics of good leaders.
Defining leadership is important in understanding how it is different than just being a boss or manager. Once there is an understanding of what leadership is we define the top 8 qualities of a good leader and how to develop leadership skills.
What is Leadership?
Being a good leader is different from simply being a boss or manager. Leadership is not about being in charge but empowering others so that they can achieve success for themselves and the organization. We all may have not had the luxury of working with a great leader but most have seen or heard about examples of great leaders. Great leaders:
Trait Being Discussed
Great leaders are highly motivated, and they truly believe in the vision of the organization. The passion that great leaders bring is contagious. This passion translates to employees being more motivated to work harder.
Stress happens at all levels of an organization, and being in charge of an organization is definitely not easy. Resilient leaders are capable of retaining their energy level under strain and responding to disruptive changes.
High performance is a trait that resilient leaders possess and are able to recover from any adversity positively. Often they thrive in overcoming obstacles through creative problem-solving.
Integrity is core to being a great leader. Authenticity, reliability, integrity, and honesty are essential to running any business successfully. Organizations and employees expect that their leaders behave ethically.
Great leaders inspire by not compromising on their principles, not taking shortcuts, and upholding the company values over personal gain no matter how hard a situation. This not only inspires trust in other team members but also encourages them to act with integrity as well.
Self-awareness goes hand in hand with authenticity. Great leaders understand their personal strengths and weaknesses that allow them to work to improve these areas. They also solicit feedback around these areas which shows transparency to employees. This self-awareness translates to authenticity that helps build trust.
Great leaders tend to be eternal optimists who enjoy challenges and get excited about the future. Most understand that attitude is a choice, and while they may have down moments they choose to look at the positive aspects of problems or issues knowing that it will influence their employees and organizations at large.
Authentic and clear communication is the key to great leaders. Great leaders listen more than they speak, but when they do speak, they demonstrate empathy while giving concise, straightforward feedback. Communication skills are a must to become a great leader.
Great leaders understand that compassion and the ability to connect with others are key to building trust within a team. Understanding the needs and thoughts of their team members builds empathy. This is valuable insight to leaders and helps in communicating with employees and building relationships.
Motivating followers, employees, and entire organizations comes from being a great leader. Engaging employees and recognizing their efforts go a long way in creating motivation. Being an excellent leader motivates employees in and of itself. Employee engagement is higher when they feel their manager is doing a great job.
Developing Traits of a Great Leader
Now that you know about the 8 qualities that great leaders possess, let’s look at some tips for how you can develop these qualities.
Leadership is not defined at the C-level of the organizational hierarchy. It can be any employee at almost any level. While there is a common thread of traits that most leaders possess, the style in which they present themselves can be very different.
Understanding where your strengths and weaknesses lie is key to developing the leadership characteristics you may be lacking. Working with a coach or mentor can provide valuable feedback and insights on skills that need improvement.
Seeking opportunities for growth and development are a great way to attain leadership skills. Great leaders seize opportunities to help others and through these opportunities practice and grow their craft. Great leaders also understand that leadership is a continual journey and practice. Working with a leadership coach can help to continue developing skills and improve on skills you already have.
Leaders aren’t born, they are made by learning, growing, and developing the skills outlined above. Anyone can attain the qualities of a great leader with enough effort and dedication.
Valor Performance enables organizations to develop strong leadership capabilities in all employees — not just the C-suite. Schedule a tailored demo now.