5 Personality Traits of a Great Leader
Anyone with an idea and some cash can start a business or an organization — it doesn’t take much — but whether or not this idea turns into something others can get behind, depends largely on whether the individual in charge is capable of leading well.
It’s not a rare occurrence that someone starts a company, hires a team, and soon discovers that they don’t have what it takes to lead others. Being a great leader doesn’t always go hand in hand with financial success or notoriety, in fact, we’ve seen many “successful” companies led by individuals who are struggling to lead in the true sense of the word. When it comes to team dynamics, work-life balance, and employee satisfaction, the glistening facade is crumbling within. It’s not long before those cracks made by leadership failures and a decaying culture start to show on the surface and impact bottomline and public appearances.
But what does it take to be a great leader? What does it take to create a team of people that work together, to foster trust and productivity in the workplace, and to truly make an impact that will last in your sphere of influence?
We’ve created a list of the top five personality traits we believe every leader needs to possess and hone in order to be great!
This one isn’t uncommon among leaders — good or bad. Most people on top are passionate about what they do, but it’s not always for the right reasons. Whether it’s money, fame, or power, there are many bad motivations behind passion. When a leader is either passionate about the wrong things or lacks passion altogether, they’ll likely find their team also lacks passion and simultaneously, results.
However, when you’re passionate about the vision and mission of your work, your excitement is destined to motivate and inspire those around you! When the people you’re leading see how committed you are to the cause, they’ll be much more excited to be part of it!
Being a great leader requires confidence. Not only will confidence help you gain respect as an authority figure, it will also foster trust in your team — if you know what you’re doing, others will be excited to contribute their unique skills to the vision you are casting. On the other hand, be careful to not appear overconfident or prideful — pair confidence with humility (more on that later) and you’ll be good to go!
Between the demands of leadership and the amount of passion required of a great leader, it can be a challenge to maintain clear focus. However, focus is key to being a successful and impactful leader. If you’re not focused, your team won’t be focused.
While it is important to stay focused when it comes to day-to-day tasks, the focus we’re talking about here is big picture. As a leader, when you feel overwhelmed or distracted, remind yourself of the mission and vision of your company. Are you working on any projects or initiatives that are out of line with your overall vision? Are you on a tangent that’s not helpful to your goals?
A great leader is always moving forward with the big picture in mind and can admit when they’ve gone astray.
Nobody thrives in a work environment that lacks trust. Unfortunately, this is a huge struggle for many leaders. After all, if you’re passionate about what you do, it can be hard to trust others to do things “the right way” or to allow others into the decision making process.
However, trust leads to delegation and delegation is vital to leading effectively. When you can trust those under you to do good work, your team will feel empowered and will learn, grow, and excel in ways you never believed possible.
Last but definitely not least, a great leader must possess humility. According to Zig Ziglar, “Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will.”
The best companion to the confidence required in great leadership is an equal dose of humility. A great leader has to be willing to admit wrongs and be focused less on self-promotion and more on the health and successes of the overall team. A humble spirit will make you approachable as a leader and create a team environment where it’s okay to make mistakes, admit them, learn, and move forward.
If you’re leading a team and find yourself lacking in any of these five traits, that’s okay! There’s always room for improvement (that’s part of being humble) and there are plenty of resources out there as you seek to hone your leadership capabilities!
Interested in learning how to become the best leader you can be?
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