There are certain qualities common to the most successful business leaders. While some are born leaders, others have to learn the job. What qualities make leaders great and what causes them to fail? Here are the top leadership qualities consistent to many successful and effective leaders. While some of the characteristics are naturally innate to you, others can be easily learned.
1. Always Positive
A good leader is always looking at the brighter side, expecting good things, and emphasising the achievements. This does not mean that they are unaware of the opposite, they just deal with the problems and forget about it. A good leader is the one who will remember your biggest sale, not the deals you lost. He or she will celebrate achievements, and will not sulk, but work harder with the losses.
Successful leaders are honest in all aspects of the business. They will only get into contracts where they are confident of delivering. They are upfront with any shortcomings and will work hard to make up for it. Honest leaders are also able to praise good employees and provide feedback, advice, and constructive criticism when necessary.
A good leader is confident – on his or her abilities, of the company’s products, and of his or her team. A leader has to have the self-confidence needed to lead the organisation. Employees look up to their leaders for assurance that they are on the right path. In order to sell it, leaders should also have confidence in the company’s product. Most importantly, a leader should be able to trust his or her team to do their job and contribute to the common goals of the company.
The most successful entrepreneurs are also the most open-minded. They are always eager to learn new ideas, see things from someone else’s perspective, and find new ways of doing things. They are open to change and welcome improvements. No idea is too insignificant, too silly, or too difficult for a good boss.
Great business leaders are able to make decisions when it’s needed. They don’t dilly-dally for all the details, or wait for other’s opinions. They are not the wait-and-see people. They might hear your view or hear some suggestions, but the decision is purely their own. Leaders are innovators who start industries, trends, and changes the way of life as we know it.
6. Great Communicator
Open and free communication is key to harmonious teamwork. Miscommunication or non-communication can easily fluster employees. No one griped that they know too much. A good boss knows what to tell, how to tell, and when to tell. He or she also keeps healthy communication lines with everyone in the organisation.
Perceptive leaders are one with the team. They are better able to lead because they take the time to learn more than what is obvious. They are the ones who are able to tell if an employee is unhappy with his or her present post, know who is ready for a new position, and identify those who have more to contribute given the chance.
8. A Source of Inspiration
Effective leaders are able to inspire and motivate people in the organisation. He or she can be a shining example of a model worker, a story of success, or an instigator of action. They offer incentives, provide tools, and communicate the challenge to the team to do better and achieve more.
9. Committed to Success
A great leader is one who will work with you and celebrate with you, while keeping his or her eyes on the prize. He or she already lives the successful life, and is committed to achieving it with you. Plans are drawn, steps taken, campaigns launched, failures reassessed, plans are re-drawn, and campaigns re-launched. Everything is done to ensure that goals are achieved and everyone in the organisation enjoys the fruits of their labour.
10. Knows how to Delegate
Delegation is an art every leader should master. It is the smart division of tasks, knowing everyone’s abilities, and assigning those tasks to the people who are most able to efficiently accomplish. A good leader is aware that he or she will never be able to accomplish everything, thus the need for a team. Leadership and management is how he or she manages the tasks and matches them to the right person.
Good leaders are creative in the sense that they are able to see and come up with imaginative ways to manage the team, steer the company towards its goals, smooth business hiccups, and resolve troubles. They can easily find out-of-the-box solutions and make the most of every situation all the time.
Effective business leaders do not have walls around them. They are warm, friendly, and open to everyone in the organisation. They invite short conversations, honest comments, and suggestions. People do not need permission to approach, offer suggestion, or air grievance with a good boss – better for keeping the lines of communication open.
13. Calm and Collected
It will take a lot to ruffle a good leader. The longer you are able to keep your composure, the better it is for the company and for your identity as a leader. Calm and collected leaders command respect and are better negotiators and managers.
A good leader should be able to see the future of his or her organisation. Forecasting is a skill that helps leaders and managers foresee the future of the company, anticipate outcome of company activities, and prepare for whatever is to come. It is also important for a leader to be able to communicate his or her visions with the rest of the company.
While being confident in his or her abilities, talents, and skills to lead an organisation, a good leader is also aware of his or her limitations, challenges, and weaknesses. An honest and complete assessment of himself enables a leader to find people who can help him overcome the challenge, fill in the limitation, and complement his weaknesses.