Top 10 Traits Which Make Up A Good Leader
Becoming a good leader is a tough task, because you have to be the role model all the time and your actions will be observed and copied. Sometimes, evaluated and criticized as well. Some people are natural leaders, but a good majority of them have to cultivate and develop the skills because they have to acquire them. The number of skills required by a person to become a good leader is limitless, but still, we have come up with top 10 skills that you must really be good at if you plan to become a good leader.
What is your rating on the ethical plane? Whatever marks you give yourself you have to raise it a notch higher when you are a leader. Your team members and employees would follow it, especially when you emphasize honesty as a key value. You can also make a list of core values and beliefs that you belief should be practiced in the office. Make the office environment as friendly as possible, so your employees would be motivated to follow these values.
2. Taking failure as it comes
Failures are part and parcel of work. There is always that dark side that you must be prepared for. It is important to understand that failures can happen; instead of wallowing in misery, it is important to rise from the ashes and work towards success. Mud-slinging and finger pointing will only make you go round in circles. Other than leading to negativity and bad morale, it won’t get you anywhere.
3. Taking responsibility
As a leader, you have to take responsibility for both failure and success How can you take credit for success when you don’t want the responsibility for failure? If you take responsibility for success… and for failure, you will eventually see employees are beginning to put in their share of responsibility too. Nobody wants to bear the cross alone. As a leader, you cannot make excuses for failure.
4. Inspire and motivate
As a great leader, you must be good at motivating your employees. The best way to motivate your employees would be to give them a reason for working, other than of course, money. It would also be good to make the employees meet the end user because that would motivate them to work better; they know where it is going to be used, what is going to come of it. It will motivate them to work harder because they feel directly responsible if any mishaps happen. In other words, if you are a motivational leader, the employees would be with you through thick and thin.
5. Excellent communication skills
For every job, having good communication skills is a must. When you hold a managerial post, your communication skills must be at the top. As a leader if you are not able to communicate well to your team, you will not get what you want and work will suffer. Establish an open-door policy so your team would be clear on what you expect from them. While it is important to develop inter-personal communication skills, it is also crucial to have good self-communication skills. It may sound weird, but true. Through self-communication, you increase your self-esteem and boost self-confidence. You must also be good at communicating with a group/team. Understand the body language of the different members of your team and you will be able to check whether they are following your instructions.
6. Successful delegation
A good leader should be good at delegating tasks. As a team leader, it is your responsibility and within your skill that you should find a team of people who would be excellent at certain tasks. You cannot be a master of all trades, so you must find people who are good at various tasks in a project. You must be able to recognize talent and then assign the requirements with the belief that it would be fulfilled and the project completed on time. Through delegation, you are freeing yourself for other tasks, because overworked managers are not good for the company at all.
7. Strategic perspective
As a leader, you must have long-term vision and all your strategies must point towards it. You cannot be bogged down by less important things and lose focus. So always remind yourself what is important in a project and place all your strategies accordingly.
As a leader, it is within your realm to make important decision regarding your projects. If you hesitate to make the right decisions at the right time, you might lose a life-time opportunity. So be confident, address vital issues and make a move towards concerted effort and innovation.
9. Building relationships
This is one of the strongest skills of a good leader. Concentrate on building relationships and learn to collaborate if you want to develop a team that works hard and shows results.
10. Having a sense of humor
Sometimes, it is also good to laugh things off. It would be good for everyone in the group. In a project where the stakes are high, the pressure will naturally build up and when something goes wrong, you might fly off the handle. That is not good at all. Did you know? Most great leaders have a great sense of humor and that makes them special. Here are perfect examples – Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, President Obama.
Of course, these are just a few traits of a good leader, but if you follow the above, the rest of the traits will naturally come.
Pictures: Flicker.com / Het Nieuwe Instituut / Internet Week New York / Chris & Karen Highland
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.