A quick search for the word “leadership” gives you about 100+ ways to ignite the leader within you. Some suggest that showing empathy towards your team will make you a leader and, for some, holding a dominant position in the group is what it takes to be a leader. With endless possibilities and prospects, the question of the day is – Is there a simplified definition of what you should do to be a leader?
Now, we all have read our fair share of books on being a leader (If you would like to suggest one, leave it in the comments), which means each of us has a good idea of what it means to be a great leader. But when it comes to defining the concept, the picture isn't as clear as it was before. Anyways, let's make things simple enough to understand.
I believe that leadership is not just about having a position or a title, it's more about having a specific set of traits or qualities that make people believe in you and inspire them to become their best. So, whether you are someone who has just been called a “leadership material” by his/her boss or someone who is looking to develop as a leader, here are ten rare traits that prove you are meant to lead people:
Great leaders are magnetizing and charming. They have a quality in them that inspires devotion in their followers. So, if you believe that you are meant to be a leader, you have to have that great charisma in you. That means you should be comfortable going outside your comfort zone to influence and inspire people to do what you want.
Where others might think that a project or task is too difficult to carry forward, a leader always thinks about overcoming the challenges with positivity and optimism. Now, optimism can be a little contagious, so it's important that you keep your attitude in check and set a definite tone for the business and the people involved.
A leader is always supposed to go above and beyond what's expected. To do that, he/she must have the passion to become the best and the motivation to get things done better than everyone else. In order to achieve success as a leader in the industry, you need to be motivated (always) and trust me, you have to do it yourself (every time).
Next, a person who leads people should have the ability to make strong decisions and stand by them. The decisions you make as a leader are meant to have a profound impact on masses. That is why it is important that you consult others before taking a decision. After all, they are the ones who will be affected by your decision and they need to know what's coming ahead.
You can never achieve the desired results until you communicate the vision and strategy with the people involved in the project/task. This brings us to the next trait of a successful leader, which is communication skills. Simply put, if you’re not able to clearly communicate with your team, you can never be good at your job that is - being a leader.
Apart from having great communication skills, a good leader should also have the ability to listen to others and more importantly, value their opinion. In order to achieve the unthinkable, you will need many great ideas. So, it's important that you encourage your team to provide their feedback regarding the things that are happening in the workplace. Also, be responsive to the views and opinions of those you lead. That means if you get something that’s worth implementing, give it a try.
Being resourceful means being able to find instant solutions when faced with a challenge. A leader understands all the resources available at his/her disposal and knows how to adjust them to best match the situation.
One of the most important traits that people expect to find in a leader is accountability. Being accountable means that the person accepts responsibility for the outcomes he/she achieves, both good and bad. The same is expected from a leader. As a leader, you shouldn't be blaming others or the situation whenever things go out of your control. If you've taken the initiative to influence the outcome, have the guts to take responsibility for the results.
A wise leader understands the importance of appreciating and rewarding the efforts of the team or the person. He/she understands the fact that success is only achieved when everyone works together. Moreover, a few words of appreciation can boost confidence in team members and encourage them to perform at the edge of their abilities.
Technology is affecting business in many ways, as a result, the demand for automated solutions like project management software or a team collaboration tool is increasing in every industry. In fact, almost every part of the business relies on technology to get their work done successfully. Now, a leader should understand every aspect of the business, that includes information technology, today. Remember, a leader who doesn't understand 'today's technology' is basically a liability.
What do you think? Do you agree with the above leadership traits? Did I miss something that is worth mentioning? Please share your thoughts and suggestions below!
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click. Follow her on Linkedin.