3 things that make a great leader

3 things that make a great leader
SEEK content teamupdated on 09 December, 2019

If you think about some of history’s greatest leaders – or even some of those leaders who have made a positive impact in your life – it’s likely they all shared a few key characteristics that made them worth following.

If you want to become an effective and inspiring head of your team, focus on honing these three essential leadership qualities.

  1. Communication. Often said to be one of the most important qualities of great leaders, communication is the glue that binds an effective and productive team together – enabling them to function at their collaborative best.

    If you want to be a good leader, make communication a priority. Explain your vision to your team, and clearly and concisely communicate what you need so you can work towards a common goal. It’s important to be heard, but it’s just as important to listen and ensure your message is understood. Focus on creating a dialogue with your team members, rather than a monologue.

    The best communicators are honest, empathetic, transparent and authentic, so bring these qualities into your team communication to build trust and respect.

    “Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities (like strategic, analytical, and performance-oriented) no longer holds. Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed…. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
  2. A positive attitude. The ability to inspire and motivate your team is priceless, so make your second priority to be a source of positive energy – leading an enthusiastic team by example. Confidence is contagious and motivates people to do their best work, so approach every facet of the work you do with optimism and conviction.

    Rally the troops, look for ways to get people to do their best work together, and make yourself accessible so your team can always come to you for further direction where needed.

    It’s not always easy to be positive when you’re under pressure, but like any good habit, being mindful of your attitude and trying to cultivate enthusiasm at every opportunity can snowball on itself. Simply put, if you focus on feeling positive, you’ll be more positive – and your colleagues will soon follow suit.

    The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.? Seth Godin, entrepreneur and best-selling author
  3. The ability to delegate. It’s impossible to be a great leader if you’re trying to do everything yourself, so be sure to identify the strengths of your team members and capitalise on them by delegating key tasks. Not only is delegation important because it frees up your time to focus on higher-level tasks, but it can also lead to an overall more productive and autonomous team.

    When you delegate successfully, you have the opportunity to build trust with your colleagues. By assigning them a task, you’re communicating that you believe in their skills and abilities, which in turn will offer them more responsibility and ownership of their place within the team.

    Employees who feel trusted and valued often work harder and have a greater sense of loyalty. Mangers and executives who delegate have a greater ability to focus on the bigger picture, and get the best out of their team.

    “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” Steve Jobs, former co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc
The best communicators are honest, empathetic, transparent and authentic, so bring these qualities into your team communication to build trust and respect.
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