Maxim Bederov answers your questions on the traits that make a leader successful. There are many answers to the question, ‘what is a leader’? But what all these have in common is that they highlight a set of personality traits and character skills that makes someone excel in a position of leadership.
As an entrepreneur, I have often seen a number of key character skills that have made up some of the best leaders across multiple sectors including industry, finance and IT.
A good leader is honest, confident and inspiring
In order for people to look up to, respect and follow you it is essential that you tell people what your core beliefs are and then stick to them. A team will always follow a leader they can trust. The most effective leaders I have ever met have exuded confidence – not only in their own abilities but also in their decisions and in their team’s ability to see them through. This is what makes them an inspiration to their followers; someone who sets the example for others to emulate. Once people see their leader walking the walk as well as talking the talk they are more motivated and able to work effectively to overcome any challenges they encounter.
The best leaders are great communicators
Being able to communicate a strategy and vision clearly and inspirationally is one of the most common character skills that you will find in a good leader. Followers need a clear path that they can follow as well as someone who can find the words to motivate and inspire them to achieve great things.
A good leader holds themselves accountable
A good leader will have a clear vision of what needs to be achieved, an ability to look at creative and inspiring ways of getting the job done and take the necessary decisions to reach their goal. The ability to think carefully and logically before taking key decisions and then be willing to stand by them is a stand-out character skill among leaders. Just as each team member will have to be held accountable for their own performance, the leader cannot be exempt from a similar level of scrutiny if they are to maintain the respect of their followers.
A good leader empowers their followers
One of the greatest character skills of a leader is to be able to delegate work appropriately and trust the team to complete the task to the best of their ability. Leaders who support rather than micromanage increase their authority and also create well-balanced, creative and successful teams.
Emotional Intelligence makes for good leadership
Leadership brings with it a certain amount of authority but it is important for a leader to understand how their actions can help people accept their leadership and will affect the well-being and effectiveness of the individual team members. Having a high level of emotional intelligence is one of the most vital character skills to develop and any successful entrepreneur will make sure they work on these. Managing your emotions makes you a better communicator, you are able to care about others and approach any conflicts in a productive manner.
A good leader develops empathy
Empathy is part of emotional intelligence. Building a good relationship with your followers builds a highly effective and happy team. This cannot be done by acting like a dictator and just expecting people to follow your lead. It is always important to understand things from the perspective of your team and work hard to overcome challenges.
A final word from Maxim Bederov:
A good leader is always the solution; a poor leader is part of the problem.
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