Leading by Example: Understanding the Qualities of a Good Leader
Do you want to be a leader that everyone looks up to? Do you want to empower and inspire those who are under your leadership? You're already on the right track; these are noble goals for anyone in a leadership position. But what are the qualities of a good leader? How can you maintain great leadership if you're not sure what you're supposed to be doing?
True leaders aren't born, they're raised. This means that you can learn whatever leadership quality that you're interested in and build yourself up into the perfect leader that you want to be. We want to help. Keep reading to learn all about leadership and the qualities that turn “bosses" into good leaders.
Why Is Leadership an Important Skill?
Anyone can be a boss. Being put in control of a group of people is no great accomplishment if you can't follow through with the necessary duties of a leader. Leaders don't just delegate tasks, they empower people to do them with pride and they lead by example. Good business leaders make for good employees (or followers, depending on the situation). They're able to communicate their needs with clarity and handle frustrating situations with grace. They're experts on conflict resolution and problem-solving. Learning great leadership, and the skills that fall under the leadership umbrella, is essential for anyone who wants to rise above the idea of being in power and move towards the idea of being someone worth following.
What skills fall under that umbrella, though?
Confidence is Key
One of the first things that all great leaders are going to need is confidence. Everyone knows that confidence is important for everyone, but if you want people to have faith in you, you need to have faith in yourself. Someone who seems unsure of them self and their decisions doesn’t seem like a good person to follow, right? How can your employees have confidence in you if you’re not confident in yourself?
Confidence isn’t always easy, though. You don’t want to err on the side of overconfidence, and you need to stay humble enough to grow.
Learning new skills and finding a great coach can help you grow into the confident leader that you want to be. Confident leaders have better decision-making skills as they’re able to have faith in their own power. Do you want this to be you?
Good Leaders Are Willing to Bend
Flexibility is so important for anyone who wants to be a great leader. Anyone who isn't willing to bend and change will never lead effective groups. Staying malleable is important and it gets harder as we age. It can be hard to let information in that doesn't align with our plans and ideas. The result: we end up stuck at dead ends because we were unwilling to pivot. Flexibility allows you to think on the fly, admit where you made the wrong choice, and find a new and better option. It also allows you to listen to your employees in a genuine way.
If you're stuck in your own beliefs and patterns, are you listening to your employees when they come to you with their own ideas? Probably not. Allow yourself to be flexible and open to suggestions.
They're Responsible and Accountable
Remember how we talked about admitting that you've made the wrong choice? This also comes along with responsibility and accountability. Leaders have to be responsible for the people who are employed under them. You were given this role and your job isn't just to delegate tasks. You may have to settle disputes, deal with complicated situations, handle clients, and more. A good leader knows when it's time to delegate and when it's time to do something yourself.
Similarly, a leader is going to be able to take accountability when they've done something wrong or made a mistake. It's tempting to lay all of that on your employees who were just following your lead, but it shows great leadership skills when you're able to sit back and say “No, that was my fault." Admitting fault and taking blame come along with responsibility and accountability. You won't be looked down on for it; it shows your strength as a leader.
They Can Communicate
It's easy for employees to get confused and misled by a leader who doesn't know how to communicate well. Good communication isn't always an innate skill. We learn it throughout our lives and some people are more or less successful based on the environment that they grew up in. If you're learning good communication skills later in life, that's great!
A good leader needs active listening skills, clarity and concision of thoughts and directions, good public speaking skills, and the ability to both interpret and provide non-verbal communication (such as body movements and expressions). A great leader that knows how to communicate will make employees more comfortable and more able to do their tasks. There will never be a lack of clarity.
Good Leadership Requires Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence takes time to develop (and some people never do). Good emotional intelligence allows you to know yourself and get in tune with your emotions and actions. Why do you do the things that you do, and how could you do them better?
People with emotional intelligence are also able to handle complex interpersonal situations that pop up often in corporate settings. The workplace is a network of relationships, and understanding how to read and navigate the feelings of yourself and others is crucial if you want everything to go smoothly.
Great leadership means that you aren't only acting like a boss; you're acting like a person who sees their employees as other people. Emotional intelligence is key to this.
Do You Have the Qualities of a Good Leader?
If you're in a leadership role you have a lot of responsibility. Businesses are only as strong as their business leaders, so you need to make sure that you're up to the challenge. If you're worried that you don't have all of the qualities of a good leader yet, that's okay. Knowing your weak spots is half the battle. We want to help build you up into the best leader that you can be.
Visit our site to check out our coaching packages. We have professional coaches who want to make you the leader that you know you have inside. You don't have to do this alone.