5 Key Attributes of a Good Leader
One of our favorite business owner’s quotes: “You find out what kind of leader you are when you are going through the tough times, not the good ones.” It is one thing to be an entrepreneur, or a leadership executive and entirely another thing to be able to effectively lead a team. Do you have what it takes?
Here are five character traits that all good leaders possess:
Identifying with and caring about others. Empathetic leaders are able to experience a situation the way another person experiences it. Demonstrating empathy is a key tenant of leading others because empathy builds trust and leads to a deeper mutual understanding. This character trait will lead to deeper relationships with your team. You need to give support to get support. That support ultimately translates to respect.
2. Decisiveness & Courage
One of the biggest complaints we hear from people who work with companies big and small is their leadership’s inability to make a decision. We hear statements like “too much red tape, too many decision-makers, interoffice politics, favoritism,” etc. We get it, change is tough – and sometimes the decision is in the indecision. But, no one thrives in limbo. Have courage and make those decisions – and support this decisiveness by surrounding yourself with the data you need to make critical changes. Don’t become scared stagnant.
When the going gets tough and conversely crazy busy in the good times, it’s not always easy to keep up your energy. A couple of questions to ask yourself are, “What am I doing to maintain equilibrium and my positive energy as a leader?” “Do I give myself white space so I can be introspective about my role?” “Do I make time to pull up the morale with my team and recognize when and how to do this?” Good leaders are always the ones who can reenergize the team. They know when to provide encouraging words for boosting team spirit, and for making sure that people feel good enough about what they’re doing to keep forging on.
OK, you are a visionary. How do you help your team understand what needs to be accomplished to achieve your vision? A good leader is clear and concise at all times. They validate that their teams understand their goals and provide the opportunity for people to digest them. They ask for consensus and are open to pushback to perfect their goals. People gravitate to leaders who have a clear picture in mind–good clarity leads to great achievement.
There is a great quote passed on from a business owner that I know titled, “The Roots of Character” and it reads: “Those who preserve their integrity remain unshaken by the storms of daily life. They do not stir like leaves on a tree or follow the herd where it runs. In their mind remains the ideal attitude and conduct of living. This is not something given to them by others….it is in their roots; it is a strength that exists deep within them.” Great leaders always maintain a level of transparency, regardless of how difficult it may seem. It always pays off in the end. Here is a great, impactful quote from an Anonymous, Native American:
“There’s nothing more despicable than dishonesty. When someone’s trust is broken, it can rarely be gained back. This is something that holds true both in our everyday lives and our professional ones as well.”
Think about these leadership traits and what you are doing to keep these front of mind as you go into the second half of this year. Leverage your resources – your CEO group, to stay on top of your leadership skills.