Few leaders exhibit great leadership skills. You know a great leader when you’re working for one. Great leadership is dynamic, it melds a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole. Effective problem solvers or Leaders have the following traits:
- Effective Communication – A good leader knows how to communicate. Effective communication is a fundamental element of how leaders accomplish their goals each and every day. You can’t become a great leader until you are a great communicator. Great communications inspire people. They create a connection with their followers that is real, emotional and personal regardless of any physical distance between them. Great communicators forge this connection through an understanding of people and ability to speak directly to their needs.
- Courage – People need courageous leaders. People will wait to see if a leader is courageous before they are willing to follow his or her lead. They need someone who can make difficult decisions and watch over the good of the group. They need a leader who will stay the course when things get tough. People are far more likely to show courage themselves when their leaders do the same.
- Humility – Great leaders are humble. They don’t allow their position of authority to make them feel that they are better than anyone else.
- Generosity – Great leaders are generous. They share credit and offer enthusiastic praise. They are committed to their followers success as they are to their own. They want to inspire all of their employees to achieve their personal best, not because it will make the team more successful, but because they care about each person as an individual.
- Self awareness – Great leaders have a high self-awareness, meaning that they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weakness. They know where they shine and where they are weak, and they have effective strategies for leaning into their strengths and compensating for their weakness.
- Passion – Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. Great leaders are passionate about what they do, and they strive to share that passion with everyone around them.
- Authenticity – Authenticity refers to being honest in all things, not just what you say and do, but who you are. When you are authentic, your words and actions align with who you claim to be. Your followers shouldn’t be compelled to spend time trying to figure out if you have ulterior motives. Anytime they spend doing so erodes their confidence in you and in their ability to execute. Leaders who are authentic are transparent and forthcoming. They aren’t perfect, but they earn people’s respect by walking their talk.
- The are approachable – Great leaders make it clear that they welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than their own. They know that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insight and ask good questions is destined for failure. By ensuring that they are approachable, great leaders facilitate the flow of great ideas throughout the organization.
- Accountability – Great leaders have their follower’s backs. They don’t try to shift and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They are never afraid to say, ” The buck stops here,” and they earn people’s trust by backing them up.
- Sense of purpose – Whereas vision is a clear idea of where you are going, a sense of purpose refers to an understanding of why you are going there. People like to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Great leaders give their followers that feeling.
- Adherence to the Golden Rule +1 – The Golden Rule – Treat others as you want to be treated. Assumes that all people are the same. It assumes that, if you treat your followers the way you would want a leader to treat you, they’ll be happy. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things.
- Infectiousness – Great leaders know that having a clear vision isn’t enough. You have to make that vision come alive so that followers can see it just as clear as you do. Great leaders do that by telling stories and painting verbal pictures so that everyone can understand not just where they are going but what it will look and feel like when they get there. This inspires others to internalize the vision and make it their own.
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