The term “leader” is used loosely to describe any person that is in charge of a particular task or is looked up to by others. While everyone can wear the hat of a leader, not everyone has what it takes to carry out the role effectively. There are some characteristics that simply make some leaders stronger than others. Take a look at 10 important ones:
- Competency. The bottom line is that a leader needs to know what he or she is doing in order to inspire others to do the same. A company that sees leadership potential in a job candidate may see value in taking the time to train that person thoroughly on industry knowledge, along with leadership and management training.
- Clear goals. Leaders not only make goals in the office; they have benchmarks for their own lives too. Goal setting leads to more focused attempts at reaching them. People with strong leadership tendencies are open to company initiatives like personal effectiveness training and goal-setting workshops.
- Determination. A leader will not sulk in disappointment or become easily discouraged. True leaders see failures as learning experiences that bring new resolve to do better the next time.
- Ability to delegate. A leader realizes that he or she cannot do everything alone. Not only that, but leaders recognize that other people may be stronger at some tasks and they welcome the input of their team. Leadership candidates with some difficulty in this area often benefit from change management videos or delegation training.
- Experience. There are some things about every job that simply cannot be taught in a classroom or textbook. Time and practice are the only things that help leaders develop to their full potential. Varied life experiences help a leader best impact his or her industry and company.
- Humility. Leaders should never have to announce themselves; that fact should become clear through their actions. Effective leadership does not happen without a strong team and help along the way. The best leaders recognize this and credit their success to other people.
- Empathy. An impactful leader knows that life is not all about work. People have a myriad of experiences that influence their behaviors. Even negative items from the past can be beneficial if channeled correctly. A leader knows that he or she does not have all answers, but is willing to listen to help find solutions.
- Fearlessness. In short, a leader simply cannot be afraid of failure. In fact, a leader should expect failure as part of the learning process. Many people ignore their intuition when it seems an unsafe bet but strong leaders know when to act courageously.
- Ethics. Whatever their spiritual beliefs, leaders must have an unfaltering moral compass. They value their employees, clients and the community at large and act respectfully. A leader does not use any methods possible to reach a goal if it means hurting others or being unethical in the process.
- Positive outlook. Even on the cloudiest days, a leader can see the silver lining. Leaders stay calm in the face of crisis and have faith that better times are on the horizon.
Not all leaders display these traits at all times, but the strongest ones exemplify many. Encourage these virtues in your company culture for people at every level. You may have standout leaders who just need a little encouragement to shine.