When you hear the word leader, what comes to mind? Do you picture a politician or a CEO of a company? Or do you think of individuals with ranks and titles or people perceived as heroes. Maybe you’ve heard “to be a leader, you must know it all” or “a leader must be an extrovert.” Honestly, these are mere misconceptions because to be a leader is a CHOICE that everyone is capable of making. And guess what? You ARE a leader in some capacity in some area of your life - whether you recognize it or not. However, to be a leader you do need to embrace certain qualities and characteristics. For the sake of brevity, we’ll call all of the people you’re meant to serve (family, friends, community, employees, etc.) your team. Now, let’s get into some of the many qualities it takes to be a good leader.
1. Have strong decision-making skills.
To be a leader often requires you to make choices that affect more than just you. Sometimes these choices can be scary, but you can’t allow the fear of making a decision to cripple you. Everyone on the team may not agree, but most will have faith in you as their leader. So, whatever decision you make, you must trust that you’re making the best decision that you’re capable of making with the tools and knowledge you have at that moment.
2. Be empathetic.
It’s not all about you! The needs of your team are important to consider because you become your team’s emotional support. It’s important to understand the varying perspectives of your team because they will influence how your team shows up and influence your decisions. A leader knows how to effectively communicate and listen to the experiences of others. Be understanding of variables and factors that differ from your own. The view of a tree looks different from a mouse compared to a human and compared to an eagle, but all are important. views.
3. Practice self-awareness.
Consciousness of self is essential. A good leader knows how to manage their emotions and behavior because someone is always watching. This does NOT mean that you are to put on a fake face all day, every day; and it does NOT mean that you are to be perfect. However, it does mean that you are to model how you want your team to behave, respond, or change. Whether negative or positive, the culture of the team follows the culture of the leader. If you act anxious, the team will be anxious. If you believe, the team believes. If you allow nonsense, the team allows nonsense and so on.
4. Make others feel safe
A key aspect in gaining a team is their ability to feel a sense of security in you. And I don’t mean physical safety. Your team must be able to put their trust in you and believe in your objectives. They need to feel “safe” that you are for the team and not for self.
5. Keep a commitment to others.
To be a good leader is to be committed to your team’s growth. As a leader, you must know how to: acknowledge the works of others, reward them, develop them, and motivate them to achieve more. Leaders develop other leaders. You must be willing to help your team to grow and achieve their goals, as you would your own. At the same time, you must also know how to discipline and provide constructive feedback when necessary because that is also a part of growth.
Remember that being a good leader isn’t about knowing all of the answers. But it is about being willing to grow and having a servant’s heart. It’s about making an impact that not only benefits you, but benefits your team, too. It’s about leading with logic AND compassion, with evidence AND intuition. It’s about knowing your strengths and allowing others to work in theirs. But most importantly, it’s about knowing and believing that YOU ARE CAPABLE!
So, tell me below: which quality resonates with you the most?
Then, get out there and embrace your leadership abilities today!
P.S. These are only a few of skills to become a great leader.
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