I was reading an article about great leadership qualities, and while the list was very good and had many qualities that you would expect. Such as Authenticity, Accountability, Nurturing, Great communicator, Humility, Motivating, Inspiring, etc., there were some key qualities that I thought were missing. Here are five qualities which have helped take my leadership to that next level.
Having the ability to see challenges as opportunities, being able to create a positive atmosphere, having confidence in the ability of yourself and your team are great morale boosters. If you don’t believe in either yourself or your team, its hard to hide this attitude, and it can become a self-fulling prophecy.
People tend to meet our expectations of them, so why not have positive expectations, be optimistic about the outcome and let them know, Let this become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s great to set big bold goals, and have grand visions, but you have to have a realistic plan to achieve it. Otherwise, you are just setting yourself, and your team, up for failure. Pragmatism allows you to evaluate approaches and reject those that won’t work, or are too ambitious. It will help you break down big bold goals into small achievable goals that help build confidence and momentum.
Some of the worst leaders I have worked with have been closed. Closed to other cultures, closed to new ideas, closed to any ideas that are not their own. A closed attitude can be limting, not only to the results that can be achieved but also to the opportunities that become available.
Being open doesn’t mean you have to accept everything, it just means you’re prepared to listen, learn and are open to trying new things. You still have the opportunity to reject those things that you don’t think will work, but you’re doing that from an informed perspective rather than from preconceived prejudices.
The road to successes full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and not every path you take will be the right one. I am a strong believer that you need to be firm about the goals you set, but flexible in your approach to achieving them. Knowing when to change tack is a great skill to have because persisting with an approach that doesn’t work just becomes frustrating and demoralizing to your team.
One quality which teams I led were appreciative of, and which surprised me, is a good sense of humor. Humour is a great stress reliever, and when used well it can really help to defuse difficult situations, especially self-depreciating humor where I am laughing at myself. Good humor can also help to bring a sense of fun to the workplace, and it helps put people at ease.
What I like best about these qualities is that you can improve each of them with just a little bit of practice. The return on that investment can have significant benefits, both in terms of results generated, your reputation as a leader and peoples desire to both hire and work with you.