The concept of successful leadership is often measured through results, however, not a lot of people are willing to consider all that goes into the making of a great leader. The truth is that leadership, on its own, isn’t a skill but rather a group of pivotal skills that are necessary to help bring out the best in people whom one is leading. With that in mind, here are the top five skills and traits that every successful leader needs.
Contrary to popular belief, charisma is a skill that can be practiced and improved. The simplest way to do so is to do two simple things. The first one is to learn how to actively listen to the person that you’re talking to and how to demonstrate that you’re really interested in what they’re saying. Another thing you can do is try to memorize what they’ve said the last time around and recollect on it, to show that you’re, indeed, paying attention. The simplest way to describe how this works is to quote Robert Brault and say that charisma is a fancy name given to the knack of giving people your full attention.
Another thing you need to understand is that when it comes to decision-making, you, as a leader, can’t afford to avoid responsibility. What you need to do is understand why making this hard decision is your job, and there are plenty of reasons. You’re in a superior position (corporate hierarchy-wise) and are, therefore, receiving a paycheck and respect that go along with this status. As compensation, it’s your job to make the decisions that will determine the future of others. Aside from this, you need to understand that these situations are how you earn the success of others (subordinates and peers alike).
In order to properly organize your workplace, you need to know what makes your employees tick. You see, you’re not working with resources, assets, or even talent, you’re working with real people who all have their emotions, skills, and personalities. Knowing them will help you delegate tasks better and help every single one of them reach their full potential. For instance, some people don’t perform as well in a conventional workplace, which is why you should consider letting them work from home or sending them to a specialized coworking space. It is your duty to make a system that is sustainable, regardless of how you achieve this. It is here that you can demonstrate resourcefulness the best.
Leading by example
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that you need to be willing to do all that you expect from your employees. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should handle IT tasks better than your IT experts, however, what you do need to work on is A) your professionalism in the workplace and B) your work ethic. These two things alone can make you an example to follow. Other than this, it’s also important that you improve in various fields, over time. How can you expect your employees to learn and grow if you’re not willing and ready to do the same?
Being an authority
One of the biggest problems that a lot of people encounter is a misconception that in order to be an authority you need to be an authoritarian figure. This is, fortunately, not true. First of all, you need to understand that while getting to know your employees on a personal basis is a good thing, fraternizing with them too much usually isn’t a great idea. This will help you avoid accusations and rumors of bias. Other than this, you need to stick to your decisions, both good and bad ones instead of casting blame or trying to divert guilt to an external factor. A great leader beams confidence and you always need to keep this in mind.
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that your background, sex, age, or physical attributes have nothing to do with your ability to grow into an effective leader. Even your personality has little to do with this, seeing as how some of the world’s greatest leaders are introverts. All you need is some determination, goals, and trust in your own abilities. This is the seed from which all the future leaders are born.
Guest post by Carolin Petterson
About the Author
Carolin Petterson is a Business Lady and contributor for number of high-class websites. She loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions, but her specialties are sustainability, sustainable business and green living.