If you want to know how can you spot really good leaders, you first have to understand what leadership is.
As Wikipedia states, “Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization to lead.” A leader is somebody whom people follow and that has authority. For people to accept a leader, their leadership must therefore be legitimate.
No one is born to be a leader. Yes, some people are natural at it, but anyone that tries to improve themselves and attains the characteristics of a good leader can become one. A good leader always stands out and is easy to spot as long as you know what to look for.
8 qualities of a good leader
So, how can you spot really good leaders? By the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with some good leadership qualities and easily be able to tell who is a good leader.
Good leaders have faith in their team
A good leader always trusts his team. They know what their team members are capable of and trust them to finish the work effectively.
Think what would happen if a leader decides he can do a better job all by himself and overloads himself with work. That won’t be very efficient, right? So trusting your team and distributing the work according to their strengths is one of the most important aspects of finishing the job on time. It saves time and makes your teamwork more vital, while strong cooperation always results in the best quality work.
They are dependable and trustworthy
A team can always depend on a good leader. Whenever the team encounters a problem, the leader should be good enough to handle the situation. This is why a leader is usually the most capable team member. They’re reliable and consistent.
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A dependable leader always follows through on commitments, has good business ethics and makes no excuses. As a result, all the team members look up to the leader and expect him to stay in the front whenever they head towards something big.
They share a positive attitude
We just mentioned above that team members look up to their leader. His attitude directly affects the team’s attitude. A good leader needs to encourage his teammates and motivate employees. Whenever things go wrong, the leader must keep the team positive.
One of the characteristics of a good leader is to be able to stay calm in every situation. It’s crucial to control your emotions and keep them from clouding your judgment. If a leader panics, the whole team will. The team leader’s attitude should motivate all the members to work harder. They should only take some credit themselves and thank the team for their hard work after achieving the goals.
Good leaders take accountability
The leader is the person that is responsible for the team’s actions, so whenever something wrong happens, it’s their responsibility to take accountability. This is one of the first things you need to know if you want to learn how to be a good leader. If something isn’t going right, you can’t pretend things are out of your control. As a leader, you have to step up for your team.
Even outside of work, it’s important to take accountability for your actions because, ultimately, you’re responsible for what is happening around you.
They lead by example
This is what it means to be a leader; you must lead by example. Whenever you come up with a new rule or strategy, you will have to be the first one to follow it. It will all be worthless if you don’t follow the instructions yourself, which can lead to losing the team’s respect.
Sometimes words aren’t enough, and you will have to show it with your actions. Leaders give directions to the team, but they also have to get their hands dirty and be involved in the work. You will have to be one to set the standards and make sure everyone follows them. Without a leader, everything falls apart. A team needs a strong leader to guide them, which is why good leadership is crucial.
Good leaders encourage you to give feedback
A good leader always encourages their teammates to communicate with them. They should not appear intimidating to their teammates, and they should take any criticism without getting frustrated at it. Being easy to approach is a much-needed characteristic of a good leader.
Communication makes or breaks a team. Therefore, a place where the employees can communicate about what they feel is wrong is a good work environment that you should aim for.
A good leader should always try to see the other person’s perspective. In disagreement, they shouldn’t be harsh on their teammates even if they’re wrong. Instead, they should encourage them to express themselves more.
They don’t play the blame game
Having your priorities right is essential in all aspects of life. Whenever someone makes an unexpected mistake, your focus should be fixing the problem caused by it and not blaming the person for it. Of course, you can’t pretend like it never happened. Wait for the issue to be resolved, talk to the employee about it, and guide them on how to avoid repeating the same mistake. Never humiliate them for being human.
Above, we’ve already discussed that accountability is one of the most important traits of a good leader. If something fails, the leader should not try to blame the team but focus on what to do next and how to improve.
They have excellent decision-making skills
This is the main reason why you are appointed as a leader. You have to make the decisions for the team, and you should be capable of that. So, refrain from stumbling under pressure, and keep emotions from clouding your judgment.
Decision-making is the ability to pick the best possible option available. You need to have critical thinking skills and a sharp mind to come up with effective strategies. Also, you need to control and be more in touch with your emotions.
When you are a leader, you carry the entire team on your back, and your unit trusts you to make the right decisions; as a leader, you must stand up to their expectations. What you decide will determine the outcome of everyone’s hard work. In short, your team’s fate is in your hands, so you must be tough enough to handle that pressure.
So, why is leadership important?
A proper chain of command is required to run anything properly. Without guidance, every team member will do whatever they want and go in a different direction, and that’s a recipe for disaster. This is where a leader is chosen to ensure everyone works towards the same goal, like a well-oiled machine.
“Leadership is an essential management function that helps an organization to direct its resources for goal accomplishment and enhanced efficacy,” Indeed states. Leaders know how to get the best out of their team and get the job done in the most efficient way possible. It’s on them to understand how to communicate the message in the best possible way, both to customers and underlings.
Not just in offices of jobs, leaders are required everywhere. In every family, a leader decides what’s best for everyone. A king is the leader of a kingdom and its strength, and that kingdom depends on him. There are leaders in every essential field that make sure that everything functions properly and team productivity is on par. Leaders are the backbone of the infrastructure we depend on.
Now you know how you can spot an excellent leader and why constructive leadership is essential. Next, it’s up to you to stay focused on your goals and apply everything you learned here. Stop trying to impress others and let others look up to you.
It is not something easy to achieve, and only a few succeed. However, as long as you remember the characteristics of a good leader and try to become one yourself, with enough dedication, you will get there.