Guide Your Business to Success With These 40 Leadership Qualities
Chris’s company, Flux Inc., is in trouble: sales are down and deadlines haven’t been met. The workforce is low because employees frequently quit, which makes it hard to meet their objectives. Morale within the company is at an all-time low because of poor leadership decisions on the part of the CEO, Chris. Despite his lack of leadership qualities, he continues to run his company. But to be more successful, Chris will have to make some personal changes to how he manages his company and his employees.
What would you do if you were Chris? What leadership qualities should Chris have to become an effective leader? What defines a good leader? And how can Chris become a better leader? This blog post offers helpful insights in developing essential leadership qualities.
Full Guide to Leadership Qualities – Chapter Index
Chapter 1: The Basics Of Becoming An Effective Business Leader
Who is a leader?
A leader is someone who influences people to achieve a specific goal. However, a business leader is a person who can guide and manage a group of people in an organization or company. The main task of a business leader is to direct the employees in the achievement of organizational objectives that will ultimately maximize corporate profits or growth. An organization will only achieve its set goals if it has an effective business leader. Thus, an effective business leader listens to suggestions, motivates his employees, and ensures that the company policies are followed accordingly. An effective leader will also ensure that the organization’s objectives are met on time while ensuring justice, and fairness for all members involved
What defines a good business leader?
A good business leader is someone who knows the strengths and what motivates his employees to achieve a goal. This allows the leader to push each employee in the right way based on their unique needs. In addition, a good business leader can provide incentives for the employees to perform well and reach their full potential.
It’s important as a leader to identify your employees’ strengths and desires from their jobs so you know how to manage each individual personality type best.
A good leader vs. a bad leader
A good leader understands each individual’s motivation and pushes them in the right way. For example, a good manager will reward those who have achieved a goal by motivating them with sound recognition techniques. This encourages cooperation amongst other employees within the company.
In addition, a good leader knows how to manage conflict and resolve issues fairly while still maintaining respect for each individual involved. However, a bad leader will have no regard for their employee’s needs. Such a leader does not consider his employees’ individual strengths and weaknesses and pushes them incorrectly, resulting in poor morale and low productivity.
Definition of leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing individuals, teams, or organizations to work together toward common goals with efficiency and purpose. The purpose of this influence is to accomplish desired outcomes.
In a business organization or setting, there are four main types of leaders. There are:
- Functional managers oversee employees in specific areas of expertise. They usually work in large areas, such as marketing or engineering.
- Team managers are usually in charge of several employees who all specialize in the same area. The leader decides how to accomplish each task when working together on a project.
- Project leaders deal with specific projects that last between one and two years.
- Corporate managers run entire divisions of a business. They must oversee all the employees of their department and make sure that everything is going well.
When you lead, you set an example for those under your charge using your knowledge and skills to solve problems and accomplish tasks together with those who look up to you. The more effective the leader you are, the more engaged your employees will become at their jobs, leading them toward success for themselves and the company. Thus, every organization must have a solid leadership base that allows for great things to happen within and outside of the business.
Chapter 2: How Can One Become A More Effective Leader?
Effective leadership is a process of continuous growth that stems from understanding one’s team, working toward their goals, and harmoniously resolving conflicts.
There are several ways to become a more effective leader. Some of them are outlined below.
1. Through the continuous practice of leadership qualities, observation, and feedback.
2. By communicating well with others, negotiating for results, and resolving conflicts.
3. Providing opportunities for team members’ growth. To improve one’s leadership skills, you must first have a thorough, effective relationship with subordinates and understand their needs. Then focus on the growth of your team or company as a whole, reward those who have met the goals, and encourage others not to give up.
4. Maintain a work-life balance. This ensures that you are able to remain calm and collected, leading your team effectively even when under pressure.
Ineffective Leadership vs. Effective Leadership
Ineffective leadership can be defined as a pattern of behavior that fails or prevents significant accomplishments from being achieved. Ineffective leaders fail because they lack the leadership qualities required for their roles, lack commitment from those involved with their efforts, or have faulty assumptions about problems and solutions.
However, effective leadership can be defined as a pattern of behaviors that allows one person to influence other people’s opinions, values, and actions. This could be a challenging task for many people because different situations require different leadership styles.
The main difference between effective and ineffective leadership is that the former helps to solve problems while the latter creates more chaos. Therefore, leaders need to learn how to use certain leadership styles depending on the situation.
Leadership styles refer to the specific difference between how leaders carry out their responsibilities and their attitudes in doing so. These differences arise from personality characteristics such as assertiveness or self-confidence, which may have been developed through experiences. Leadership style is also an individual’s method of leading his or her subordinates. It includes formal and informal styles.
The most common leadership styles are:
- Autocracy: A leader with this kind of leadership style has absolute authority over all aspects of operations. They set goals, determine policies, and make decisions without consulting anyone else. Autocrats usually do not delegate any decision-making power to employees or allow input into organizational processes. However, when necessary, autocrats must work closely with staff members to ensure success. Autocratic leaders tend to be task-oriented and focused on results rather than relationships.
- Authoritarianism: Authoritarians often have high expectations of those working under them. Their goal is to get things done quickly and efficiently by using strict rules and regulations. They rarely seek feedback from workers about what needs changing. Although authoritarians are generally efficient, they lack creativity. Authoritarian leaders sometimes become frustrated if their plans fail due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Laissez faire: Laissez faire means “let alone” or “leave alone” in French. Leaders with this style leave everything up to the worker. Workers are expected to handle problems themselves unless they cannot solve them. If something goes wrong, the responsibility lies solely with the employee. Employees are responsible for following instructions and completing assigned tasks. This style of leadership only provides guidance when needed. Laissez faire leaders expect perfection from their team members and hold them accountable for mistakes made.
- Paternalism: Paternalists look after the welfare of their teams and treat them like children. They give orders and tell workers exactly what to do, but don’t let them take risks or think independently. Paternalists are concerned primarily with getting results and avoiding errors. When faced with obstacles, they deal with them directly instead of involving others in problem-solving. Paternalistic leaders help others succeed and avoid failure.
- Consultation: Consultants listen carefully to suggestions offered by others. They ask questions and encourage participation in meetings. Consultants value ideas and opinions even though they might disagree with them. They prefer consensus building to conflict resolution. However, consultant leaders build trust among co-workers by listening to concerns and offering solutions.
- Delegation: Delegates assume complete control of projects while keeping close contact with supervisors. They follow directions given by higher-level management and then report back to superiors regarding progress. Delegators typically focus on meeting deadlines and achieving targets. They are willing to accept blame for failures but seldom offer praise or recognition for accomplishments. Delegatorial leaders rely heavily on reports written by lower-level team leaders.
- Military style: Military leaders demand obedience from followers and maintain discipline. They establish clear lines of command and assign roles and duties. Military leaders are decisive and direct; however, they promote teamwork and efficiency. Military leaders emphasize structure and orderliness. They are good listeners and appreciate creative thinking and innovation, although they are authoritative and demanding.
- Transformational style: Transformational leaders inspire confidence and enthusiasm in followers. They motivate workers by giving positive reinforcement and encouraging personal growth. Transformational leaders create opportunities for individuals to grow personally, professionally and foster cooperation among workers. Transformational leaders aim to improve morale and increase productivity.
- Servant leader: Servant leaders serve the best interests of their organization above all else. They put the needs of others first and act accordingly. They are committed to helping others achieve their potential. These leaders work hard to ensure employees’ well-being and success. Their goal is not just to get things done; it’s to do so in ways that benefit those around them. A servant leader cares about their staff more than they do themselves. They will always go beyond expectations to meet goals. In addition, a servant leader treats each person equally regardless of position or title.
Furthermore, there are also hybrid leadership styles, where one form predominates over another. Some organizations combine elements of two or more styles.
Chapter 3: 40 Leadership Qualities And Practical Tips
Leadership qualities encompass a wide range of traits and characteristics that go far beyond business and politics. They can sometimes be seen in the selfless acts of everyday people who make a difference in the lives of others, facilitate the success of their employees and inspire everyone around them to do better and be better.
Here is a list of 40 essential leadership qualities that every leader should possess as part of their skillset.
Effective communication skills enable leaders to communicate clearly, concisely, persuasively, and confidently. As a leader, it’s important to understand how to listen carefully, speak up when necessary, ask questions and respond appropriately. Effective communication does not simply mean speaking louder; instead, it means conveying information in such a way that the receiver understands and can use that information to achieve specific goals. In addition, effective communication requires listening attentively without interrupting. Listening allows you to learn about another person’s perspective, which will help develop strategies that address issues from all sides of the matter.
- Practicing active listening. Active listening involves seeking input from others before responding. For example, active listening could involve asking all employees for their opinion on a new policy before implementing it. One of the best ways when working with employees and teams from all backgrounds is through open dialogue—listening carefully so you can understand where they are coming from while at the same time offering up perspectives of how this might play out or could improve certain aspects related to the policy being made.
Leadership isn’t only about influencing people toward achieving organizational objectives. It is equally about inspiring trust among employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. An honest and trustworthy leader inspires confidence, honesty, and transparency. When you demonstrate integrity, it shows respect for yourself and your colleagues. It also portrays that you uphold personal ethics and set clear boundaries between professional and private life.
• Ask yourself whether something you’re thinking or saying reflects your true feelings. You may think you’re helping build relationships, but you could hurt your ability to lead.
• Being upfront with your employees is the best way to make sure they respect you. If changes are coming down, be direct about it and let them know what’s happening so everyone knows where their role fits into this new direction. Otherwise, your employees might act out in passive-aggressive ways or even leave for another company because of uncertainty.
EI refers to perceiving emotions accurately, using emotion knowledge flexibly, regulating emotions adaptively, and engaging proactively.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor your feelings and moods, discriminate among them, and control them. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, “The most successful executives possess emotional intelligence—a set of abilities that allow us to manage ourselves and interact successfully with others.
- A leader can become emotionally intelligent by taking time out every day to reflect upon their own strengths and weaknesses in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of those they lead. Doing this will help identify areas that require improvement and provide insights into dealing with challenges and setbacks.
- Pay attention to body language and tone of voice. Learn to identify signs of stress and anxiety in yourself and others. Then, address these concerns immediately.
A motivated employee stays focused on goals and achieves results. Employees want to feel appreciated for their hard work and efforts. In return, they expect recognition and rewards such as bonuses, promotions, awards, etc. However, motivation cannot be forced; rather, it requires careful planning and execution.
• Make sure your team members receive regular feedback regarding progress toward individualized goals and overall company targets.
• Provide opportunities for training and development.
• Recognition programs encourage staff to perform well beyond expectations.
• Give credit when due.
• Reward outstanding performances.
• Encourage innovation and creativity.
• Offer flexible working hours and schedules.
5. Resilience: Resilience is the process of adapting well to adversity. Being resilient helps you bounce back after failures or disappointments. When things don’t go according to plan, resilient leaders remain calm and focus on solutions instead of dwelling over negative thoughts about themselves or their organizations. Resilient leaders acknowledge failure but quickly move forward. They take constructive action to improve future outcomes.
- You can become resilient by practicing positive thinking, focusing on what you have achieved so far, and remaining optimistic about the future.
- You should also avoid comparing yourself with other people. Instead, think about your own success and how you can increase it based on your own strengths and weaknesses. Try keeping track of your successes throughout each week. By doing so, you’ll get an idea of how much you’ve accomplished already.
An inspirational vision motivates employees and inspires them to do more. Inspirational leaders share their visions and values with everyone, including subordinates. Leaders who inspire followers to achieve great things often create new ideas through brainstorming sessions. The best visionary leaders set high standards for themselves and hold themselves accountable for meeting those standards.
- Set clear objectives for yourself and then hold yourself responsible for achieving those objectives.
Innovative leadership encourages creative problem-solving skills and promotes teamwork. It’s advisable you seek input from different sources before making decisions. For example, if there’s no consensus among colleagues, leaders must weigh up various factors carefully before reaching a final decision.
An effective way to foster innovation within teams is to allow them to experiment and fail without fear of being punished. As long as mistakes aren’t repeated, innovators learn valuable lessons and grow stronger in the process. However, to ensure that experimentation doesn’t turn into chaos, you need to keep control of situations and ensure that any changes are appropriate.
• Listen to your teammates’ suggestions.
• Be open-minded when discussing options.
• Take time out to reflect upon past experiences and ask questions.
• Ask for advice from experts.
To become a fast and agile learner, you have to learn new information quickly. You should also be good at retaining what you’ve learned so it stays fresh in your mind. Achieving both requires practice. The best way to do this is through deliberate practice. This means actively doing activities over and over again until you get better. In addition, practicing deliberately helps you build muscle memory —your brain learns faster when you repeat tasks regularly.
- Practice makes perfect: Make practicing fun by using games or challenges where you compete against yourself.
- If you’re not feeling motivated enough, try joining a mastermind group.
- Or take some free online courses to sharpen your skills.
Being adaptable involves flexibility and openness to change. To succeed in today’s world as a leader, you must constantly adjust to changing circumstances. Therefore, you need to possess high levels of adaptability and don’t let setbacks discourage you. Instead, remain optimistic and continue working hard.
Being able to adapt to new environments quickly is crucial for success. However, most leaders struggle to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity. When faced with such obstacles, they tend to avoid risk-taking behavior. Instead, they prefer safe choices, which may lead to stagnation.
Here are two ways to boost your adaptability:
- Focus on building resilience. By strengthening your personal resources, you’ll be less likely to succumb to negative thoughts and behaviors.
- Work on developing mindfulness. Mindfulness entails paying close attention to present moment experience while simultaneously acknowledging all aspects of life, including its upsides and downsides. By practicing mindfulness, you will gain greater clarity and insight into yourself and the environment around you.
Collaboration is the key for business success in today’s world. It’s important that everyone in your organization works together as if they were one team. This includes working with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. To achieve collaboration, you need to develop trust among members of the team. Trust allows them to share ideas freely without fear of being judged negatively. When there are no fears between teammates, they will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. They will also be more open about problems because they know that others care about solving those issues.
How to build teamwork as a leader:
- Be willing to listen carefully to all views expressed during meetings.
- Provide clear expectations.
- Establish rules of engagement.
- Ensure everyone has access to relevant data and resources. Clarify decision criteria.
- Hold regular meetings.
- Involve stakeholders throughout the process.
- Conduct pre-meetings.
- Assign specific roles and responsibilities.
- Define metrics.
Being aware of who we are and our strengths and weaknesses are essential for personal growth. We all make mistakes, but self-awareness lets us learn from these errors and improve ourselves. For example, if you tend to procrastinate too much, you might want to set up reminders to help you stay focused. Also, if you find yourself getting angry easily, you could ask someone else to give feedback about your behavior instead of taking things personally. Finally, if you struggle with time management, perhaps you could start tracking your progress daily to see which areas you need improvement.
You can become self-aware by asking questions like:
- What am I good at?
- What don’t I excel at?
- How does my personality affect my relationships?
- How would I describe myself in three words?
- Do I have enough energy?
- Am I able to balance work and family life?
- Do I take responsibility for my actions?
Respectfulness is another quality required for effective leadership. As a leader, respect comes naturally to you since you’re used to giving orders and receiving instructions. However, respectful behaviors go beyond just following rules and regulations. Effective leaders respect individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability status, political affiliation, socioeconomic background, etc.
Practically speaking, respecting others doesn’t mean treating them differently; it simply means valuing their contributions and acknowledging their efforts. If you treat people respectfully, they’ll appreciate your kindness and reciprocate back positively.
You cannot lead without taking responsibility. It takes courage to admit that you made a mistake or failed to perform certain duties. But admitting failure allows you to move forward and grow stronger.
You can practice the act of responsibility by:
- Keeping track of your performance and analyzing any shortcomings in your job.
- Ask yourself why something did not turn outright. Was it because you didn’t plan well? Did you fail to communicate clearly? Were you unable to follow directions? Make sure you know exactly what went wrong before blaming anyone else.
Leaders who understand the needs of those around them are empathetic. An empathy-based approach encourages open communication, collaboration, and cooperation among team members. By listening carefully to others’ concerns, ideas, opinions, and requests, you gain insight into their emotions and motivations. Then you can respond appropriately.
- Being empathetic is about more than just acknowledging other people’s emotions. You show your employees that you care by addressing their needs and ensuring everyone can collaborate to get tasks done.
Creative thinkers create innovative products, services, processes, strategies, policies, and programs. To succeed in today’s business world, you must be able to come up with original ideas. Your ability to generate novel concepts depends on your capacity for imagination, innovation, and flexibility. These skills enable you to see things differently than most people do. And because these traits are essential for success, you must nurture them throughout your career.
- Understand other people’s points of view because creativity often comes from identifying gaps in understanding
- Generate as many new ideas as possible, even if they seem ridiculous at first glance. If it seems too different, figure out what you want and turn it into something more realistic.
- Try brainstorming sessions with team members or followers.
As a leader, you must always act fairly and impartially toward everyone. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a friend, colleague, subordinate, customer, client, employee, investor, or anyone else. All individuals deserve equal treatment under the law. Treating one individual unfairly will reflect poorly on you.
- Be open-minded.
- Try to understand other points of view even though you disagree with them.
- Think critically without prejudice.
- Always strive to maintain objectivity.
Charisma refers to being persuasive, magnetic, and engaging. People who possess charisma attract others to follow their example. Leaders who display strong personal characteristics tend to inspire followers and motivate teams. However, there are many different types of charisma. Some people exude confidence, while others radiate warmth. Still, others project competence or power. Regardless of which type of charisma you exhibit, remember that every person possesses some charm, but only true masters can harness it into something; as a leader, charisma helps you positively influence others.
- Use eye contact and avoid staring down at your audience.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Avoid using slang words and phrases.
- Keep your tone conversational rather than formal.
- Maintain appropriate volume levels.
- Don’t talk too much and avoid talking about yourself.
- Focus on the listener instead of speaking about yourself.
Leaders develop strategic plans based on an analysis of current conditions and future trends. Their goal is to identify opportunities and threats, anticipate changes in market dynamics, and choose between alternative courses of action. By identifying potential pitfalls early on, you can prevent crises from occurring.
- Analyze all aspects of your organization before making decisions.
- Develop a long-term vision for your company.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Determine where you want to go next.
- Set goals and objectives; make sure they’re realistic.
- Create a plan to achieve those objectives.
- Follow up and monitor progress.
- Evaluate results periodically and, if necessary, make adjustments.
Motivation comes from within. When we feel motivated by our internal desires, we find ourselves more engaged and interested in whatever task we happen to be performing. In contrast, if we lack self motivation, then external factors like rewards, punishments, deadlines, and pressure often serve as motivators. These extrinsic forces may provide short-term satisfaction but ultimately deplete us because they don’t come directly from the inside.
- Recognize that intrinsic motivations drive most human behavior. They include curiosity, autonomy, mastery, purpose, recognition, affiliation, and love/belonging.
- Find ways to tap into these emotions and feelings. For example, ask yourself why you work hard? What’s important to you? How does working toward achieving certain outcomes affect your life?
Leadership involves leading oneself. It includes setting direction and priorities, taking responsibility for one’s actions, demonstrating integrity, building trust with subordinates, delegating responsibilities, motivating employees, managing conflict effectively, communicating well, developing relationships, handling criticism, dealing with stress, and maintaining composure under pressure. All of these behaviors require strength of character. Therefore, leaders must first learn to lead themselves.
- Be honest and trustworthy.
- Take ownership of mistakes.
- Have confidence in your abilities.
- Act professionally at all times.
- Give constructive feedback.
- Encourage honesty and open communication.
- Lead by example.
Leaders need to reflect upon past experiences and lessons learned. Reflection allows you to gain insights into your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to improve your performance.
As a leader, demonstrating high levels of self-discipline and self-control is vital. Know when to stop, pause, step back and make adjustments. Be able to take time out to think things over before making decisions. And finally, keep calm even while facing stressful situations.
- Reflect daily.
- Review goals periodically.
- Set deadlines for completing assignments and make sure deadlines are realistic.
- Stay focused on the task at hand.
- Don’t let distractions derail progress.
- Keep track of accomplishments.
- Use tools like SweetProcess to document and keep track of tasks assigned.
Problem-solving skills help leaders identify problems early and solve them quickly. These include problem identification, prioritization, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and follow-up. Good problem solvers listen attentively, ask questions, gather facts, analyze options, generate ideas, test assumptions, evaluate results, and adjust plans as needed.
- Ask yourself “What if” scenarios like “What would happen if I did not act? How could I prevent that situation?”
- Identify potential risks.
- Develop contingency plans.
- Always plan.
- Think creatively and analyze alternatives.
- Evaluate outcomes.
- Adjust strategies accordingly.
Decision-making ability refers to choosing between two or more alternative courses of action based on available evidence. It involves weighing pros and cons, considering multiple factors, evaluating consequences, and choosing one course of action. Decisions made under pressure require quick thinking and emotional control. In addition, leaders must be decisive enough to stick with their initial choices despite changing circumstances.
How to develop leadership decision-making skills?
- Learn from experience.
- Seek advice from experts.
- Consider different perspectives.
- Test hypotheses.
- Focus on the result rather than the details.
- Draw conclusions logically.
- Apply critical thinking.
- Look beyond immediate needs.
- Build consensus within the group.
- Create win-win solutions.
Delegation is essential for any organization’s success. As a leader, you’ll often find yourself having to give instructions to others who may not always understand exactly what you want to be done. Being able to delegate responsibilities effectively gives you greater freedom and flexibility. In addition, your team members will appreciate knowing they don’t have to worry about following all your orders; instead, they focus on doing their jobs well.
- Give clear directions.
- Explain why certain actions are necessary.
- Provide feedback.
- Offer guidance.
- Let people work independently.
- Be flexible.
- Allow room for mistakes.
- Encourage input from everyone involved.
- Hold regular meetings to share updates.
A caring leader cares deeply about their people. They understand their concerns and want to make sure everyone feels valued and respected. Caring leaders listen carefully to understand each person’s perspective. They show empathy and concern for those who may not have received similar treatment during previous employment experiences. In addition, they demonstrate respect for all individuals regardless of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
- Be aware of your actions. Are you treating employees fairly? Is there any discrimination based on factors such as race, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or other characteristics protected under applicable law?
Creativity requires imagination, originality, and innovation. It involves coming up with fresh ideas and solutions to old problems. Creative leaders inspire others through their unique perspectives and insights. They challenge conventional thinking, open mindsets and foster an environment where creativity flourishes.
- Ask yourself questions such as: What do you enjoy doing? What inspires you? What do you love doing? What do you hate doing? What keeps you awake at night?
A leader should have a vision for his team members. Encouraging people by showing appreciation when they succeed and providing constructive feedback when they fail help inspire your employees. In addition, providing opportunities for growth and development can also inspire employees.
- Help those who work hard earn rewards.
- Show respect for all individuals regardless of rank.
- Provide support for new initiatives.
- Recognize achievements.
- Offer praise when deserved.
- Set high standards.
- Let people know what’s expected of them.
- Share success stories.
- Celebrate accomplishments and express gratitude.
Support means being there for your employees. It includes listening attentively, offering encouragement, helping them solve problems, giving advice, sharing information, recognizing their strengths, and understanding their challenges.
Leaders who are supportive make sure that their teams understand what they expect from them and help them meet expectations. They recognize individual contributions, celebrate successes, and treat every employee respectfully and fairly.
- Be aware of your behavior. Are you too critical? Too demanding? Too harsh? Too lenient? Too impatient? Too slow to respond? Too quick to judge? Focus on solutions rather than blame.
- Look for win-win situations.
Optimsm can be defined as the belief that things will turn out well despite obstacles along the path. Optimistic leaders take responsibility for their failures but still see opportunities for improvement. When faced with challenges, a leader always looks for ways to overcome obstacles and succeed.
- Find reasons to feel hopeful.
- Stay focused on long-term outcomes.
- Recognize potential benefits.
- Take risks.
- Think positively.
- Believe in yourself.
- Get support.
- Develop self-confidence.
Accountability defines the duty and obligation of being answerable for results achieved, errors committed, performance, etc., while ensuring that such things happen only after due consideration and approval. As a leader, you need to be accountable. If there isn’t anyone else keeping track of what happens, no one but you knows whether you are meeting expectations. You might assume everything is going according to plan even though nothing is actually happening. When you fail to meet expectations, it becomes difficult for you to admit fault. Therefore, it is necessary to take full responsibility for whatever goes wrong while achieving organizational objectives.
- Take ownership of failures.
- Admit mistakes.
- Own up to shortcomings.
Inquisitiveness describes curiosity, interest, eagerness to know more about a subject than most people would generally consider interesting. Inquisitiveness is a natural human trait that drives us to seek answers to life-long questions. Therefore, it makes sense that leaders must possess inquisitive traits since they have to constantly keep abreast of changing trends and developments within and outside their organizations.
- Seek out opportunities to ask questions.
- Learn to listen attentively.
- Read widely.
- Develop interests outside your job description.
- Get curious about topics beyond your area of expertise.
- Find ways to engage employees in discussions about subjects that matter to them.
Influence can be defined as having control over outcomes. To exert any kind of influence, a person needs power. Power comes from a position; therefore, leadership positions are associated with greater levels of influence. Having influence gives you access to resources, tools, ideas, and support systems that will help you accomplish your work effectively.
- Be clear about your vision.
- Create a culture where everyone feels valued and appreciated.
- Build strong teams around shared values.
- Communicate clearly.
- Provide feedback.
- Recognize achievements.
- Encourage creativity.
- Empower others.
As a leader, you need to know everything going on inside and outside the company. It’s best if you are kept abreast of current trends, events, and developments affecting your organization. If something new comes along, chances are someone else already knows about it. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of the game, you’ll need to know what’s happening before anyone else.
- Be aware of the marketplace so you can anticipate changes in consumer demand, competitor activity, and industry conditions.
- Know what your customers think, say, and expect; this enables you to plan accordingly and avoid costly mistakes.
Being tech savvy is an essential leadership quality because, in today’s world, technology plays a key role in every aspect of our lives. Leaders need to keep up-to-date with technological changes that affect business operations. They also need to know how to use modern tools such as social media platforms, cloud computing, task management software like SweetProcess, etc., to help drive innovation and maximize productivity.
- Read books related to technology.
- Attend seminars, webinars, conferences, workshops. Participate in online discussions.
- Join forums.
- Buy relevant products.
- Use task management software.
Personal development priorities identify the most crucial areas where improvement is needed. They help individuals plan and prioritize their efforts toward achieving specific career objectives. When prioritizing, consider three things: importance, urgency, and feasibility. Importance refers to the value that something holds for you. Urgency describes how urgent or time-sensitive the activity is. Finally, feasibility indicates whether there is sufficient time and resources available to complete the project.
- Think critically.
- Take the initiative to develop self-awareness.
- Improve communication skills.
- Grow professionally
- Get organized.
Professional expertise identifies your strengths in a particular area of work. It helps you understand what makes you an expert at specific tasks and activities.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
- Learn new skills and never stop learning.
Leaders must develop themselves while simultaneously helping others grow. It takes courage to admit one needs help growing up. But if you don’t take care of yourself, no matter how much effort you put into your careers, you won’t succeed. Therefore, you need to pay attention to your growth and development. In addition, you must also encourage those around you to pursue their potential.
- Do more than give advice.
- Help others see opportunities and challenges.
- Show interest in their lives outside work.
- Share experiences.
- Learn about yourself.
- Challenge assumptions.
- Create safe spaces.
Ethical and civic-minded leaders believe that they must act morally and responsibly. Their actions will reflect positively upon themselves and negatively upon those around them. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to lose sight of ethical principles if you are too busy focusing on your interests. You need to know that ethics is about more than just following rules; it involves making choices based on moral conviction rather than convenience.
- Be honest.
- Do the right thing even though no one else sees it.
- Show integrity.
- Act honorably.
- Follow the law.
- Behave respectfully.
- Avoid conflict and be fair.
Loyalty is unconditional, steadfast support for others, and a dedication to the interests of others rather than oneself. To demonstrate loyalty, you need to have a positive attitude toward your subordinates or employees, care about their well-being, and carry out your responsibilities diligently without complaining or avoiding difficult tasks.
- Be honest with your team members about their strengths and weaknesses. This will help them grow into better people.
- Always keep an open mind. Try new ideas even if you have doubts. The best ideas come from those who challenge themselves.
Execution skills are the ability to implement the team’s plan. Executing a strategy requires much more than just understanding your role in achieving an organization’s goals; it also means knowing when to take action and how much initiative to apply to achieve a goal. As a leader, your execution skills should be strong.
- Assign deadlines for each task to be achieved.
- Assign a task to only competent hands
While it’s true that not everyone can be a leader, and not everyone is cut out to lead others, many people are given the responsibility of leadership without having all the qualities needed. Without these skills, they’re doing more harm than good for their team. Therefore, it’s essential to know what you’re working with in terms of your leadership qualities and skills before taking on this position.
Here are three questions you should ask yourself to find out if you’re qualified to take on the leadership status:
- Do I believe that every person has something unique and important to offer?
- Do I want what’s best for my company or team?
- Am I willing to invest the time and energy into building trust with them so they’ll follow my lead?
If you answered yes to all of these, you’re cut out for leadership, and you shouldn’t be afraid to hold the title. If any of them gave you pause, then you should reconsider taking on this kind of role or read up and practice leadership qualities.
It becomes easier to work with those who depend on you when you’re aware of your qualities and how you can implement them into your leadership style. This is because you’ll be able to identify people’s strengths and weaknesses as well as what motivates them. As a result, your team will experience less conflict and be more productive.
Discovering your leadership qualities and skills isn’t as difficult as you might think, but it does take time and observation. You might need to ask those around you what they think about how you work with them—not just what you’re doing well but also areas that can be improved. Ask them what you could be doing better and what they think of your leadership style.
You don’t have to revamp your style entirely, but it’s good to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these will help you understand where your team is coming from and help you lead more effectively.
Chapter 4: Learned And Innate Leadership Qualities
The science of leadership has been an area of increasing interest with the advent of new technology. Studies have shown that there are both learned and innate qualities that may affect leadership capability.
Some theories on this subject are those of style and trait. Styles refer to more flexible approaches to leadership, whereas traits refer to more fixed approaches.
The concept of leadership has existed throughout history in many forms, with one notable example being the religious leadership of Biblical times. However, leadership qualities can be both innate and learned.
Innate leadership traits
Innate leadership skills are those that we have from birth. These include self-awareness, empathy, leadership style, teamwork, and communication skills.
Learned leadership traits
Learned leadership skills are acquired through experience, learning, or education. These include vision, accountability, strategic thinking, and the ability to delegate tasks.
Why You Should Improve Your Leadership Qualities
As someone who’s taking on, or already has, some level of leadership responsibility, there are ample reasons why you should improve your leadership qualities, such as enhancing your career and keeping you competitive at work. That said, here are some ways that you can improve your leadership qualities:
1. Learn how to listen.
Listening is an integral part of being a good leader. If you can’t listen, then people won’t be inclined to follow you.
2. Be a leader who people can trust
If you want to be a good leader, then you need to establish trust. People have to trust that you’re making the right decisions for them as a group, as well as for themselves.
3. Show humility.
If you want to become a leader, then you need people to respect and follow you. One way of doing this is by showing humility and working with others.
4. Don’t try to control everything.
This is a mistake that many new leaders make—they want to control every aspect of their group. However, they don’t realize that if they want to develop people around them, then they need to give them some control.
5. Set an example.
If you want to be a great leader, one of the best things you can do is set good examples.
You can set good examples by:
- Being sure that you’re working as hard as those who report to you.
- Always doing your best, even if it is not the most interesting or enjoyable task at hand.
- Approaching work as a way of life rather than as something that has to be done.
- Being honest and fair in all business dealings with employees, customers, and suppliers.
- Maintaining high standards of excellence in your performance.
Chapter 5: How To Use Leadership Qualities In The Workplace
Leadership is a crucial factor in building and running a successful business, but how does one successfully employ it in the workplace?
Here are various ways you can apply leadership qualities in the workplace:
1. Be honest with yourself when making decisions.
Being an effective leader means being able to make good decisions for your company or organization. It also means having the courage to admit mistakes when they occur.
2. Always keep people informed.
When leading a team, it’s important to ensure everyone knows what’s going on within the business. Keeping them up-to-date with any changes will help prevent confusion or panic from occurring among staff members.
3. Have empathy toward employees.
Empathy is another essential quality needed by those who wish to lead effectively. Being empathetic helps you understand where other people are coming from, making it easier to communicate with them.
4. Keep things simple.
Leaders should always try to simplify complex situations so as not to confuse anyone else. If something seems too complicated, then it probably isn’t worth doing.
5. Set clear goals.
Setting clear objectives ensures that everything carried out during work hours is focused on achieving goals. Without clearly defined aims, there’s no way of knowing whether or not anything has been achieved.
6. Take responsibility.
It takes a lot of self-confidence to accept personal blame, especially if someone else was responsible for whatever went wrong. However, taking full responsibility is essential to ensuring nothing like this happens again.
7. Make sure tasks get done.
As mentioned earlier, setting clear goals allows you to see whether or not specific projects have been completed. Also, getting tasks finished before deadlines is crucial to maintaining productivity levels.
8. Encourage creativity.
Encouraging creative thinking amongst colleagues is highly beneficial for businesses. This is because creativity leads to innovation, which ultimately results in more profit.
9. Stay calm under pressure.
If you’re feeling stressed while working, it may affect your performance. So instead of panicking, take some deep breaths and stay calm. You’ll find it much easier to deal with stressful situations once you’ve regained control over your emotions.
10. Show confidence.
Confidence is often seen as a positive trait. However, it can hinder progress; when leaders lack confidence, it sends out negative signals to others.
11. Get feedback.
Getting regular feedback from your subordinates is incredibly useful. Not only will it allow you to improve your skillset, but it will also give you insight into how well you’re performing as a manager.
12. Provide support.
Supporting your team through tough times is just as crucial as providing guidance. After all, without proper encouragement, nobody would ever achieve great feats.
How Leadership Qualities Can Accelerate Your Career
Leadership qualities can never be undervalued, whether you are a CEO, an entrepreneur, or just working in the corporate world. Leadership qualities can put you on the fast track to success and help you reach your goals.
With that being said, here are six ways leadership qualities can help accelerate your career.
1. You become your own brand.
If you are a leader, people will look at you and recognize you in some way. Whether through your actions or even your appearance, people will see you as a brand of sorts. Being a leader can also help market you so that you create an image for yourself that will attract people who want what you have to offer, thus increasing the likelihood of being hired or promoted and creating an increased growth in your career path.
2. People follow leaders because they like them, respect them, admire their accomplishments, fear losing out on opportunities if they don’t join them, etc. The more followers you have, the better chance you have at succeeding.
3. Be the mentor and guide that others need.
Being able to help the people around you excel and grow is an essential part of becoming a leader. People will look to you as a leader if they think of you as such, and the added benefit is that people respect and will like you more because of it.
4. Leadership inspires others.
People crave leadership and want to be involved with those who can inspire them. Even if your niche or company has no immediate need for a new leader, the concepts and ideas you put forward will contribute to the success of those around you, increasing their ability to do work as a cohesive unit. When working as part of a team, this type of influence is essential.
5. Leadership attracts more followers/associates.
When people see that they’re working under a leader getting things done and succeeding, they will want to be a part of that success. This can lead to expanding your business or team in a way that would not have been possible before, simply because you have enough sway with others for them to follow you where you go.
6. Take your job seriously but have fun at the same time.
Taking your career seriously is a given, but having a good time while you’re doing it is just as important. People want to work with people who they enjoy being around. Try not to be too uptight and boring when you’re in charge of others. Be professional and serious when you need to, but don’t be afraid to let loose and have fun now and then.
Chapter 6: Software That Can Boost Your Leadership Qualities
To become a better leader, you must have an open mind and be willing to learn from others continually. There are many books written on leadership that you can read and take classes on, but only software tools can help you manage all your team members and their assigned tasks in one place.
Technology has advanced rapidly over the past decade, making it possible for leaders to utilize software that will make them more productive and efficient. Here is a list of six amazing software that can help you become a more efficient leader.
SweetProcess is an all-in-one task management software that fosters collaboration and productivity, enabling easy task organization without a physical meeting to get on the same page. It’s perfect for leaders who are creating project timelines or idea boards, as it simplifies everything by ranking priorities collaboratively based on user input. It’s also great for individual contributors looking to create their schedule, whose due dates seamlessly integrate with colleagues’ deadlines.
The key feature of this tool is that it allows you to create organized systems of workflows so there’s no miscommunication or confusion when it comes to handling tasks. This tool also has an email reminder feature that will notify you when someone is working on your task, so you know who to follow up with if they are behind or ahead of schedule. By creating organized workflow systems, you will boost your employee’s motivation and help them feel appreciated. You can do this by using the SweetProcess app workflows yourself and leading by example by signing up for the 14-day free trial.
Zoom is a video chat tool that you can use instantly to connect with your team or friends. The app is unique because it allows users to share what they are seeing with other people on the same internet connection.
This capability has led to experimentation with Zoom as a tool for leaders, facilitating virtual meetings and video conferencing. Zoom can do this by showing the competitive dynamics within an organization, understanding how the staff is interacting under one roof, or figuring out who at your company may be working remotely more often than not. It can also be used as a motivation builder by letting you see what someone does when left alone with your project.
Slack is a chatroom app that allows teams to communicate with one another in real-time, sharing files and tasks instantly. The software also has an excellent file attachment feature allowing you to attach documents or photos to any conversation.
It is becoming increasingly popular due to its wide array of features, including team messaging, project management tools, file sharing, and The Daily Standup feature. Leaders and team members can post what they have been working on for the day, what they plan to work on tomorrow, or any time-sensitive items to give each team member an update.
Slack can boost leadership qualities by allowing you to communicate with your team members instantly and share files.
Trello is a board-based app that can help you organize your tasks by project, team member, or deadline. By breaking down large goals into smaller projects and tasks, you’ll be more likely to complete the larger goal by having them broken down into small parts. This tool is great for leaders and teams who work from home and those leading a team at their place of employment.
Evernote has become the leading note-taking software available on the market today. There are several reasons why it is such a powerful tool for leaders, but the one that stands out most is how simple it is to use. Simply create a list, add the individual tasks you want to achieve, and then Evernote will serve as your assistant by reminding you when items need to be done.
This app allows you to collaborate with your team, assign tasks to certain people, track the progress of said task(s), and then see where everyone is at any given moment. Asana can boost leadership qualities by allowing you to communicate effectively with your team members, track the progress of assigned tasks, and have reminders sent directly to your inbox.
Chapter 7: How SweetProcess Can Improve Your Leadership Qualities
Imagine a software designed for the busy leader, the task-driven project manager, or the workaholic team leader. Imagine a tool with an intuitive design and easy-to-use interface. Imagine being able to track all your tasks in real time so you never have to worry about forgetting essential items on your agenda again. Imagine how much more productive you would be if you could forget about the wasted time spent looking through emails or scrolling through your calendar. Imagine being able to do all of this while improving your leadership qualities.
Now stop imagining because SweetProcess is the software, and here is how SweetProcess can improve your leadership qualities.
- Strategic thinking: SweetProcess helps leaders plan their schedules according to others’ availability making it easier for the task to be accomplished on time. It also helps leaders build relationships with other team members and makes everyone in a project aware of what they need to do exactly, which can help boost a leader’s strategic thinking abilities.
- Managerial competence: Task management software like SweetProcess helps leaders interact with each team member, discuss work progress, assign tasks accordingly, and plan schedules. Using this software makes it easy to create an account for everyone in your organization and helps avoid confusion. SweetProcess will make them aware of what they need to do exactly. It gives freedom to take control of their own time and concentrate on one task at a time with full concentration, which eventually enhances their productivity at work.
- Good communication skills: SweetProcess helps leaders provide an effective communication process among employees within different levels, departments, and teams by keeping everyone updated with the latest information. You can create assignments that need to be done at a particular time or stage that can be shared with multiple people. You can also see the progress being made, what everyone is working on, and the current status of the work. In addition, SweetProcess saves the time wasted in following up on tasks with different people by sending them reminders via emails.
How SweetProcess Can Help Business Owners and Leaders Keep in Touch With Their Employees
SweetProcess is a wonderful tool for managing the people-focused side of businesses. Not only can it help employees stay on task, but leaders can easily see what their employees are working on and provide support as needed. SweetProcess offers a variety of features that make it a great option to keep everyone on track. Let’s take a closer look at some of its features.
1. Task reminders keep everyone in the loop.
2. Assigning tasks to specific employees makes it easy for leaders to see what everyone is working on at a glance and prioritize according to current workloads.
3. Projects can be delegated to multiple employees, encouraging collaboration while reducing work effort redundancy. For example, if Jane is working on the family tree project and Bob is working on the book report project, both employees can see what each other is doing.
4. Tasks can be assigned to specific teams or departments for leaders who oversee several people at once (for example, sales, marketing, customer service).
5. Employees can mark tasks as done as they finish, and leaders can view completed tasks for their employees to see what’s been accomplished.
6. Deeply-sourced task management filters can help show only the projects currently being worked on, have an assigned due date, have a certain number of items left to complete, etc.
7. Assigning projects and tasks can be done on mobile apps, so even if employees are out of the office, they can quickly jot down an idea or respond to a project they’ve been assigned.
Real-life Scenarios on How SweetProcess Has Helped People in Leadership Positions
- Luke Pickerill, the president of MonteVista Homes, needed an automated workflow and streamlining process for his team. He was faced with the challenge of keeping track of loose paperwork and SOP sheets which became more challenging to keep and reference when onboarding new employees. That is, until the discovery of SweetProcess. Now leading his team has been more effective and faster. Assigning tasks, documenting processes, and updating SOPs has become more accessible with just a click away. Through a streamlined process on SweetProcess, he can now track tasks, document processes, and communicate effectively across teams.
- James Ramsden, a Lean Six Sigma champion, was able to use SweetProcess to streamline his team processes and create a central knowledge base after many failed and near success attempts through the use of traditional tools like Excel. All employees can now get all information needed to begin a task on the central knowledge of SweetProcess. This has made his leadership qualities such as managerial tasks, ability to delegate, and communication skills more effective.
- Peter Nelson, president of Marc Nelson Oil products, needed help with his company’s managerial process and the onboarding of new employees. He was faced with the challenge of having a process where new and old employees could follow the documented processes and the standard operating procedure for each task assigned. He Googled process documentation software, and amongst the list he saw and tried, SweetProcess stood out. Ever since then, employee onboarding and training has been effortless, and thus, he was able to zero in other important tasks.
There are certain qualities of good leaders—from Henry Ford, Madam CJ Walker, John D. Rostée Lckefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and King Croesus—which have been spoken of throughout history. One of the reasons for these great leaders’ success was the direct effects of their leadership qualities.
In more recent times, we have been able to examine the great leadership of men such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. These leaders had certain qualities and leadership styles which were essential for them in their roles.
The qualities were necessary if they were going to be successful and can be boiled down to 40 leadership qualities as mentioned above. Therefore, one can say that great leaders are made up of these qualities and not just good managers who get things done by their employees or teams.
However, it’s important to note that leadership qualities must be improved upon and often self-evaluated to ensure the effectiveness of a leader and the smooth running of any business.
The best way to improve leadership qualities effectively is through software tools like SweetProcess. To kick-start the process of improving your leadership qualities, sign-up now for a 14-day free trial of SweetProcess. We also encourage you to download our free Leadership Self-Evaluation Checklist here to help you effectively improve your leadership qualities.