Depending on who you ask, the word leadership will have varied meanings. One of my favorite definitions comes from leadership author John C. Maxwell. He defines leadership as, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Whether you agree with this exact definition, there is no debate that a leader can either lead you to success or failure. A good leader has the ability not only to lead a team but turn ideas into successes. Today we will look at the top leadership qualities that set leaders apart.
Some will argue that the single most important leadership characteristic is honesty. In a survey of 100,000 people, 89% of participants stated that honesty was the most valued leadership quality. Building a trusting relationship with your team can be challenging at first, but it is the first step in creating a solid foundation. Being honest with your team from the beginning will set yourself and your team up for success later down the line.
As a leader, you will be telling others what they should be doing and how they should carrying out the action. If you find yourself constantly questioning your decisions, your team will have doubts in following you. To gain respect, you need to show that you are both assertive and confident in your choices. Although you should feel assured in your rule, you should not act presumptuously. Radiate the right amount of confidence to make sure that your team trusts you.
One thing that leaders can’t fake is enthusiasm. Feigned enthusiasm for a business is something that employees can instantly recognize. A leader that is sincerely passionate and enthusiastic will be contagious among other team members. You will find that leaders that lack passion will often have a hard time motivating their team.
An Effective Communicator
To be a good leader, you have to be an expert at knowing when to talk and when to be quiet and listen.
Not only is an effective communicator great at thoroughly explaining tasks, but they are also a good listener. By listening to your team, you gain another perspective, more knowledge, and foster trust. Don’t close yourself off; allow your team to ask questions and invite them to share their feelings.
Nonverbal cues also come into play. Facial expressions, hand motions, and body posture can tell a person a lot, so leaders ensure that their nonverbal cues match their words.
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