Leadership can be defined in multiple ways, but the best one is John C Maxwell’s definition, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Regardless of how you define leaders, they play an important role in shaping our communities, organizations, and countries. Good, visionary leaders guide us and make the essential decisions needed to move forward.
As a society, we are quick to identify a bad leader, but do we know how to identify a good one. So, in this article, we’ll explore and discuss some of the qualities of a good leader.
1 – Honesty and Integrity
Honesty and integrity are the two core qualities that every leader should have. No matter how difficult a situation is, a good leader should inspire his underlings without compromising – they should always refrain from making false promises and should choose action and thoughts over personal benefits.
2 – Confidence
To be a good leader, one should be confident enough to encourage others to follow your lead. If a leader isn’t sure about themselves, their subordinates will never listen to them. Thus, as a leader, you should be confident and assertive to gain the respect of the people you’re leading.
However, this doesn’t imply that you become overconfident. Rather it means that you have the degree of confidence needed to ensure that your followers believe in you.
3 – Communication
The ability to communicate tactfully, clearly, and concisely is an essential leadership trait. Communication isn’t just about listening actively to others and responding appropriately. Instead, it’s about asking important questions, sharing valuable knowledge, seeking innovative ideas, and clearing up the misunderstanding, and being clear about what you want. The best leaders also communicate to energize and inspire their staff.
4 – Ability to Delegate
Delegating is one of the key tasks of a leader, but effective delegation is quite challenging. The objective isn’t to free your time but to facilitate teamwork, enable your direct reports, provide autonomy, and foster your direct reports’ growth. Remember that to delegate properly, you need first to build a level of trust within your team.
5 – Empathy
Empathy refers to the ability to feel or understand what other people are going through. Leaders should look at their team’s feelings and emotions. The best leaders should be able to guide employees through challenges. To become an extraordinary leader, you should praise your team in public and offer constructive criticism in private.
6 – Accountability
A good leader should hold themselves accountable for their own performance, as well as everyone else’s. If your team members do well, you should give them a pat on the back, but if they’re not doing well, you should make them acknowledge their shortcomings and work together to overcome them. Holding your team accountable for their behaviors will lead to a sense of responsibility amongst them, and they will start working more meticulously.
Last Few Words
The traits highlighted above form the foundation of a good leader. While some qualities of a good leader may be present naturally, others may have to be developed and strengthened over time.
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