Are leaders born, not made? Is it possible to develop leadership characteristics?
If you can recognise leadership traits in others, then you must have them yourself. We all have abilities that we have not used in a practical sense. Developing an awareness of the important leadership factors is often the first step in becoming a better leader.
Here are our top 10 leader traits:
1. General intelligence, though not necessarily at a high level
2. Good communication skills, particularly the ability to listen
3. Expertise in their field, which they share with humility
4. Respect for others, recognising them as individuals rather than job holders
5. Creation of value, a sense of purpose and enthusiasm around work which keeps the team motivated
6. A focus on what they want to achieve, setting high standards and clear objectives
7. Awareness of when to delegate, what to delegate and to whom
8. Ability to act decisively when necessary, keeping calm when the atmosphere is tense
9. Ability to cope well with change and build plans around it, anticipating and dealing with any roadblocks
10. Continually working on their own self-awareness and development, which makes them a positive role model for others
If you consider the leadership characteristics listed above, many are achievable once you are aware of them and decide to incorporate them into how you do things.
Strong leaders develop their own sense of leadership style. There is no one right way to lead effectively; it is up to you to create your own unique set of leadership traits that becomes a natural part of who you are.
You can also develop leadership qualities in your team, even though they may not have a strictly leadership role. Complete leadership team building activities and arrange leadership games to foster the characteristics of good leadership in others.
Here are some great leadership quotes to get you thinking:
A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions, and the integrity of his intent.- Anon
The motivating team leader is that one person with a dream for the future.- Dr. Losoncy
We are reluctant to let go of the belief that if I am to care for something I must control it.- Peter Block