If you were to ask people what makes a good leader, a lot will struggle to pin point exactly what the ingredients are.
The dictionary defines ‘good’ as, “to be desired or approved of” and the term ‘leader’ as “a person followed by others.” So in theory a ‘good leader’ is a person who is approved of and, consequently, followed by others.
But what actually makes a good leader?
A recent study was able to identify the key characteristics of ‘good leaders’ through research over a 12 – 18 month period. This research identified the key characteristics of leaders who were accomplishing progress in the workplace.
A good leader…
Inspires and motivates
Good leaders make an effort to inspire and motivate their staff. Good leaders will ensure that staff remains focused on high priority goals and objectives, they also make an effort to be kept up to date with all concerns and obstacles the team faces. They show that they care and offer support to the group. This support from leaders will motivate their team as it will make them feel valued; it also promotes an inspirational environment.
Good leaders will embrace change and will see it as a positive thing. Without change there can be no progress. It is important that leaders recognise and embrace change. By fostering change, leaders are able to spot trends and identify opportunities – furthering the success of the business.
Good leaders promote teamwork and cooperation within an organisation rather than competition between employees. Internal competition is costly in both time resources. Working together enables there to be multiple winners and no ‘losers’. This will, in turn, also create a positive working environment.
Has a broad perspective
It is important that leaders know what is happening in the outside world and don’t get preoccupied with what is happening just inside their team. Good leaders will always have a broad perspective and keep the ‘bigger picture’ in mind. This enables them to identify potential problems and act strategically.
Shares their knowledge and expertise
Sharing your information and knowledge with employees, as well as teaching them new skills ensures that you will be identified as a good leader.
Supports new ideas
A good leader supports employees to explore and to suggest new ideas. This support makes employees feel valued, as well as enabling them to grow.
Acts as a role model
By identifying that they are a leader, and therefore a role model to other employees, a good leader will conduct themselves in a way that sets a positive example to other employees about how they should conduct themselves and treat others in the work place.
Communication is one of the most important factors when it comes to organisations, and a good leader is able to identify and understand this. Communicating enables the team to function better as a whole, as well as enabling them to work more efficiently as they will have more information about projects.
Encourages others to do better
A good leader challenges their team to work harder to achieve more than they believe they could. By fostering this trait, a leader enables their employees to grow as individuals, and as a team, by learning new skills and improving others.
These characteristics are the key elements that define a good leader.
If you work towards exhibiting these traits in your workplace, you will earn respect and success in your leadership role.
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