Strong and appropriate leadership has shaped the history of mankind over the centuries. From nation-building to running an organization successfully, leadership plays a pivotal role. But what makes a leader different from others? Honestly, the answer is not as easy as the question seems.
Throughout the journey, you will need to develop the 10 characteristics of a good leader. Certain characteristics play a significant role in shaping someone as an ideal leader. The absence of any of those can potentially lead to poor leadership.
There are curricula and institutions for doctors, engineers etc. But no such school produces leaders or scientists specifically; hence you need to learn and work on yourself to become a great leader.
1. Thirst for knowledge
Without the eternal curiosity of learning, one can never lead others. Learning agility is about how you respond to something you don’t know. Even if you’re an expert in your segment, there will always be uncountable things you don’t know anything about, which is typical for every human being.
Accept your strengths and weaknesses since it is essential for further development. A great leader is also a humble student and generous guide.
Gratitude is not only essential for being a leader; it helps one to be a better person. You need to know the value of ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ in both personal and workplace. People can move mountains on your command only if you are humble to them.
Appreciate your subordinate team members and acknowledge their efforts publicly. Make them feel like they are a significant part of the team.
3. Respect for Others
Respect everyone who deserves respect, irrespective of designation, financial status, age and everything else. Mutual respect is an essential element between the leader and the subordinates. One can not demand respect; it’s supposed to be earned. And only your actions can help you to achieve it. It’s crucial to have respect for others’ space, privacy and opinions.
4. Communication Skill
The most common characteristic among successful leaders is that they all possess outstanding communication skills. One can convince and influence an entire race with their communication skills. Always have a proper hold on your tongue.
Apart from the actions, your words define you too. Having effective communication alone can potentially offer a solution to several conflicts. It’s true for both personal and professional life.
5. Strong & Flexible
Among the top 10 characteristics of a good leader is maintaining boundaries. A leader should always be open to discussion and flexible enough to communicate. But also need to keep the boundaries that differentiate you from your team members.
Never let anyone be so comfortable with you and disrespect your decisions. But that does not mean you should be rigid and stubborn.
If communication is the superstructure, uprightness or honesty is the base of leadership. A leader who can foresee the near future always focuses on the integrity of the organization. For the strength and speed of development lie in it.
A smooth interdependency relation between the decision-making body and the employees is the best way to ensure integrity. Mutual dependence boosts the sense of integrity, which leads to the organization’s development.
While talking about the characteristics of a good leader, compassion is always the least valued one. But in reality, a compassionate person, along with other mentioned attributes, can reach the coveted heights faster than anyone else. The importance of compassion is obvious for the collective strength of the team and the organization.
Besides your performance and concern for the company, if you show your emphatic side too, there are high chances that you’ll be viewed as a better employee by the higher authority.
You can recognize a future leader with untapped potential through this attribute alone. A leader denies going with the flow; instead, he/she takes the risk and shows courage before others. In the workplace, giving your thoughts and scrutiny, a voice can be stern. But a leader faces the problem and addresses it instead of just avoiding it. If you want to make your own identity:
- Be vocal.
- Don’t hesitate to present your thoughts and suggestions.
- Remember, the teacher only knows those students who take part in class actively.
A leader is more likely to be a captain of the team. Both of them focus on the collective performance of the team, which is indeed a great responsibility. A brilliant leader is supposed to trust their team members and delegate work to them.
Delegating projects to others will make you quite free, but that should not be the motive behind delegation. Leader helps and motivates their team members to grow. Delegation brings a strong sense of inclusiveness that drives better employee outputs.
10. Authenticity and Self-awareness
Nobody is blessed with everything on this planet, and every soul has its limitations. And a leader becomes unique by knowing and accepting their strength, flaws and capacity. The essence of self-awareness in the decision-making body is pivotal to running an organization successfully.
A self-aware leader agrees with the reality as it is and then builds authentic plans to meet the coveted goals by keeping all the factors in mind – that’s the true notion of unique leadership.
A leader is not superior to others by any means. The consistent practice of developing the aforementioned soft skills makes him different from others. However, these characteristics of a leader are enough to distinguish a leader or a potential future leader in a crowd.
But these virtues are not the ultimate ones to shape an ordinary person into a good leader. Some people are born with the quality of a leader, but nothing can beat the amalgamation of patience, effort and consistent practice.