You would never envision a leader who is unclear and uncertain. Good leaders are aware of the fact of how their decisions can make or break businesses. They evaluate a given circumstance many a time before coming to any conclusion. They collect the necessary information required before making any announcements. Also, they do not believe rumors but examine a situation or a problem themselves before making a decision.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?
The importance of integrity should be obvious. Though it may not necessarily be a metric in employee evaluations, integrity is an essential leadership trait for the individual and the organization. It’s especially important for top-level executives who are charting the organization’s course and making countless other significant decisions. Our research shows that integrity may actually be a potential blind spot for organizations. Make sure your organization reinforces the importance of honesty and integrity to leaders at various levels.
Ability to Delegate
Delegating is one of the core responsibilities of a leader, but it can be tricky to delegate effectively. The goal isn’t just to free yourself up — it’s also to enable your direct reports to grow, facilitate teamwork, provide autonomy, and lead to better decision-making. The best leaders build trust with employees in order to delegate more effectively.
Effective leadership and effective communication are intertwined. The best leaders are skilled communicators who are able to communicate in a variety of ways, from transmitting information to inspiring others to coaching direct reports. And you must be able to listen to, and communicate with, a wide range of people across roles, geographies, social identities, and more. The quality and effectiveness of communication among leaders across your organization directly affects the success of your business strategy, too. Learn how effective communication and better conversations can actually improve your organizational culture.
While this is a more inwardly focused trait, self-awareness and humility are paramount for leadership. The better you understand yourself and recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, the more effective you can be as a leader. Do you know how other people view you or how you show up at work? Take the time to learn about the 4 aspects of self-awareness and how you can strengthen each component.
Develop the Qualities of a Good Leader
Today’s leaders need the ability to address complex challenges in new and innovative ways. Build the traits and characteristics of a good leader with our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP)®, now available in both face-to-face and online formats.
Being thankful can lead to higher self-esteem, reduced depression and anxiety, and better sleep. Gratitude can even make you a better leader. Yet few people regularly say “thank you” in work settings, even though most people say they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss. The best leaders know how to demonstrate sincere gratitude in the workplace.
Learning agility is the ability to know what to do when you don’t know what to do. If you’re a “quick study” or are able to excel in unfamiliar circumstances, you might already be learning agile. But anybody can foster learning agility through practice, experience, and effort. Explore how great leaders are great learners with strong learning agility to get started.
For some people, “influence” feels like a dirty word. But being able to convince people through logical, emotional, or cooperative appeals is an important trait of inspiring, effective leaders. Influence is quite different from manipulation, and it needs to be done authentically and transparently. It requires emotional intelligence and trust. Learn more about how effective influencing can be a game-changer.
Empathy is correlated with job performance and is a critical part of emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. If you show more inclusive leadership and empathetic behaviors towards your direct reports, our research shows you’re more likely to be viewed as a better performer by your boss. Plus, empathy and inclusion are imperatives for improving workplace conditions for those around you.
It can be hard to speak up at work, whether you want to voice a new idea, provide feedback to a direct report, or flag a concern for someone above you. That’s part of the reason courage is a key trait of good leaders. Rather than avoiding problems or allowing conflicts to fester, courage enables leaders to step up and move things in the right direction. A workplace with high levels of psychological safety and a strong coaching culture will further support truth and courage.
Download Our Free Guide to Effective Leadership in the 21st Century
Successful leaders demonstrate the following five leadership qualities in their personal and professional lives, inspiring others to take action and set a course for future success. Strong leaders also practice key behaviors on a regular basis in order to strengthen the positive impact of these qualities.
Effective leaders focus on developing their emotional intelligence, Goode says. Leaders that work to refine this quality are more adaptive, resilient, and accepting of feedback from others. They are also effective listeners and open to change.
- Set goals, prioritize goals, and take responsibility for accomplishing them. Also, take responsibility for falling short of your stated goals or making mistakes along the way. , avoid distractions, and don’t get bogged down by small, tactical details. Practice these behaviors to promote effective management of your time and attention.
- Set boundaries between your personal and professional lives. Remember that your organization will follow your lead—if they see you working long into the night, they will assume that they have to do the same.
- Retain awareness of your strengths, weaknesses, and any potential sources of bias that may impact your thinking and decision-making. Conduct self-assessments and seek feedback from your team, and set improvement goals with measurable targets in areas where you have room to grow.
- Accept that things can and will go wrong. This anticipation will help you respond in a thoughtful way that does not make a difficult situation even worse.
2. They focus on developing others.
This leadership quality builds on the principles of the situational leadership theory, which suggests that effective leaders adapt to whether an individual or group is ready, willing, and able to take specific action. Delegating, coaching, and mentoring are important tasks for situational leadership, Goode says.
- Recruit and develop a team with diverse skills and backgrounds, and give the team members both the tools and the space to build trust among each other.
- As a coach, show empathy as well as strength. Effective leaders know how to be assertive and kind at the same time.
- Delegating responsibility can be harder than completing the task yourself, but this allows you to see what a team is capable of doing. Accomplishing difficult tasks helps a team build confidence and continue its path to growth.
- Make genuine connections with those outside your organization. Actively seek out people who will make your team stronger, even if their expertise doesn’t perfectly match the needs you have at the moment.
- Make training a priority within your organization—and balance it with a culture that allows team members to thrive. As Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Here is the list of 25 essential leadership qualities that help leaders to achieve greater success
Integrity is a core quality that every leader must possess. You cannot run any business successfully if you lack integrity. Self-development author Brian Tracy says that whenever he holds a strategic business meeting, the first value every executive agrees on is integrity.
Business leaders know- Integrity is the foundation of good leadership, and one must stand for their beliefs. No matter how hard a situation, a good leader inspires with his principles without compromising; they refrain from making false promises or take shortcuts, choosing thoughts and action over personal gain. Delivering the said promises as ethically and morally grounded is necessary to pay the dividend in the long run.
An innovative leader is not a creative genius with thought-provoking ideas but gives others the freedom to develop their ideas. You would always find people with great ideas who lack the will, determination, and fear of taking any actions. But innovative leaders are not one of them.
Innovative people are always open to new ideas and discussions. They listen to everyone actively and also motivate others to think out of the box. This quality gives them an edge over others since they are always hunting for creativity and innovations. As the innovative leader, Steve Jobs himself said, ‘Innovations distinguish between a leader and a follower.’
One of the essential leadership qualities is the possession of honesty. Honesty is expected from leaders to garner trust and respect from people for reliability. Moreover, we look upto people who are loyal to their words and are accountable. Thus, honesty is the most valued trait for any business leader or any leader in general.
4. Active Listening
The roots of effective leadership lie in simple things, one of which is listening. Listening to someone demonstrates respect; it shows that you value their ideas and are willing to hear them. ~John Baldoni
Active listening is an excellent quality to have when it comes to leadership. Good leaders listen to people with great attention and sincerity. It helps them understand people and their perspectives. Active listening builds trust and relationships in the long run. Good leaders communicate with care, focus on the person and the message; they don’t interrupt and acknowledge what is being said. And that is what the world needs; leaders who listen to its people. Acquiring this skill is not easy; it needs self-awareness and humility to respect others’ thoughts.
Self-confidence is found abundantly amidst true leaders; hence they know about their competencies and leadership qualities. They are sure about their competencies and leadership skills. They have a sense of self-assurance and self-esteem and, most importantly, believe that they can make a difference. As Rosalynn Carter rightly said, ‘You have to have confidence in your ability and be tough enough to follow through.’
Self-confidence is critical for leadership because it gives them wings to take risks, accomplish goals, and fly high. Organizational leaders take charge themselves and march with positivity and confidence. It allows them to make immediate decisions, solve organizational problems and conflicts. Good leaders take full responsibility and quick actions without passing on issues, ignoring, or procrastinating.