7 Traits of a Good Leader
While the role of a leader has evolved throughout the years, the core traits of a good leader haven’t changed much. Many of the greatest business minds possess the following qualities, and look for these qualities in the leaders they trust to make their business a success.
1 – Compassion
It’s easy to assume your best performer would be a great leader, but it isn’t always true. Some top performers are excellent at looking out for themselves, but lack the compassion to bring their team members up with them.
A good leader treats their team members as individuals. They go out of their way to check on their emotional state on a consistent basis. It takes time and consistent effort to get to know each team member’s personality, strengths, and weaknesses. How can you care about your team if you don’t really know your team?
2 – Confidence in Themselves and Their Team
Confidence is contagious. A good leader knows how to exude confidence in a way that gets their team members to feel more confident in themselves. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. This is another reason why your top performer may not make a great leader.
Leaders who struggle with inspiring their team often build up a disdain for team members who can’t perform at the level the leader used to when they were at that level. They lack compassion necessary to understand the individual talents and needs of each team member.
3 – Great Communication Skills
Communication skills are on every great business mind’s list of traits of a good leader. Communication skills take many forms. Business leaders need to be the type of people who have an infectious, positive personality and love small talk.
Good communication skills are how leaders build rapport with their team members, which ultimately leads to trust.
4 – The Ability to Make Tough Decisions
Sometimes a leader has to make a decision that is unpopular with some of their team members.
Good business leaders make good decisions on a consistent basis. They base their decisions on facts and data rather than emotions and personal relationships.
5 – The Desire to Serve a Purpose Greater than Themselves
Selflessness is one of the most-desired traits of a good leader, selfishness is the mark of a bad leader. Leaders who always put the needs of their team before their own needs get much more productivity than selfish leaders.
Employees want to see selfish leaders fail in hopes that they’ll be replaced. If a leader shows they’re willing to self-sacrifice and hold themselves accountable for the team’s performance, their team members reciprocate by taking more pride in their work.
6- The Ability to Foster a Creative Environment
An average leader may be creative themselves, but great leaders bring out the creativity of their team members as well.
Part of fostering a creative environment is making sure you always give your employees full credit for their ideas. Bad leaders take more credit than they should for their team member’s work, which causes those under their leadership to lose their incentive to be creative.
7- Leads by Example
Last but not least on this list of traits of a good leader is leading by example. It has become such a business cliché, but there is merit in this advice.
Employees respect a leader much more if they see they’re willing to actually do the tasks that they normally delegate.
What Makes a Good Leader?