Whether or not you consider yourself to be a leader, the fact is that you most likely possess many of the qualities of a great leader. Even if they aren’t readily obvious to you, or they may still be simmering under the surface, the fact remains that you are more of a leader than you might think. Sometimes it’s not how you do the things you do, but rather why you do them. Let’s consider some of the qualities of a great leader.
Which of these are already a part of your skills and values?
1. Focus– Great leaders are organized and plan ahead. They develop a game plan and detailed approach while thinking through alternatives in case things do not go according to plan. This leader continues toward their objective despite any curves in the road. They always keep their eyes on the prize.
2. Confidence – The best leaders formulate opinions based on experience and well-researched information. They defend their position but when proven wrong, quickly act to make improvements.
3. Integrity – Strong leaders are extremely ethical and take values of honesty, effort and reliability to heart. They are transparent in their actions leaving no room for false interpretation.
4. Inspiration – The combination of traits that enable an extraordinary leader to communicate clearly, set high standards, and support team members toward their goals.
5. Passion – Inspiring leaders bring passion and commitment to their team. They are driven to achieve their goal and this brings out a ‘can do’ attitude in others.
6. Innovation – Great leaders bring innovation and ideas to the team. They are willing to try something new for the sake of moving the team, project or organization forward.
7. Authenticity – Never fake and always genuine are marks of a true leader.
8. Open-minded – Even when focused on a plan, a great leader will listen to alternatives and accept that another approach might be better.
9. Decisive –There are times when difficult and timely decisions need to be made and a leader must keep the best interests of the team in mind realizing that they will not please everyone.
10. Amiable – Everyone prefers to be with a leader that is genuinely kind and respectful to others.
11. Empowering – Leaders who are willing to empower others show they aren’t afraid to raise others up.
12. Optimistic – Exceptional leaders usually have a solution and know what to say to inspire people. They bring positive energy to a team and look for ways to gain consensus.
13. Insightful – The best leaders are able to see a big picture and provide input that takes many perspectives into account.
14. Communicate – Keeping people updated, sharing details and encouraging open and honest communication on a consistent basis is a critical benefit a quality leader brings.
15. Accountable – Leaders take responsibility for everyone’s performance, including their own. They praise excellence and seek out solutions quickly to problems. A great leader will never throw you under the bus.
It’s important to realize that we are all human and that everyone is fallible. We make mistakes and have challenges, even those who appear to ‘have it all’. Consider that the next time you feel intimidated with the leadership role.