What defines a great leader?
The study of leadership remains a popular subject: there are many books, online guides and other resources available that people share. Still, not everyone clearly understands which specific traits define, and ultimately make-up a great leader.
In general, great leaders tend to share the following capabilities:
1. Having Vision & Inspiring Action
A highly effective leader is able to, firstly, paint a vision of what the future will look like. And then follow-up with effective action plans to reach that objective. This includes inspiring action that will overcome any existing company road blocks and other constraints that may stand in the way.
2. Being Mr/Ms Optimist
A great leader is an optimist, a person who will pull others up into the clouds, instead of letting their dreams be buried by negativity. That is why the ability to spread optimism and positive vibes is among the vital traits of an effective leader.
3. Having Integrity
Honesty, fairness, being candid…these are all traits which may seem ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘idealistic’ today. But not so for great leaders. Remember this: treating others the way you want to be treated, will give you the persona and positive attitude of a truly great leader.
4. Brimming With Confidence
Facing another challenge? No problem. With this winning mind-set, the great leader will successfully motivate his whole team to get behind him, as they move to tackle a new challenge. A great leader must possess abundant doses of confidence to effectively inspire and motivate others.
5. Excellent Communication Skills
A leader who doesn’t know how to communicate effectively isn’t worth much. By contrast, great leaders ensure that every employee is kept up to date with important information. The great leader will be willing to communicate about the team’s overall performance – and include both their successes and failures.
6. Brave Decision Making
Being decisive is another effective trait every great leader shares. And is not afraid of. When it comes to being decisive, every leader should grasp the information at hand, and make an informed decision. Stick with this decision – unless there is a compelling reason for change.
7. Supportive Mentor
A great leader plays the role of mentor to his team. He will set up an organizational structure that will encourage team members to participate fully in discussions and actions: for example, to express their frank opinions without fear of back-lash, or to take calculated business risks, without the fear of failing.
So, where do you stand?
If you possess some or all these 7 winning traits, that’s great. Keep at it and you’ll be on your way to becoming a great leader. But if you’re just getting started here, bear these winning traits in mind, practise constantly, and ever so slowly but surely, these qualities will become part of your future DNA.
Remember: Great leaders are not all born – they can also be made! Good luck.
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