Great leaders share many common traits. Though criteria for leadership in the workplace can vary from company to company, the majority of effective leaders exemplify certain skills. By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

Critical competencies of great leaders

1. Self-motivated

As a leader, it’s important to be able to motivate yourself to take action on your goals – whether they’re personal or team goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their teams to do the same.

2. Ability to delegate

The most effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people. They also define the responsibilities of each team member and then get out of the way. You can’t do it all yourself. A single person is limited, but many hands can get a lot done in a much shorter time. Learn how to share your workload effectively and efficiently.

3. Communicate effectively

You might have clarity about what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. As a leader, you’re responsible for sharing your vision and making your desires known.

People can only give you what you want when you communicate clearly what needs to be done. They also lose motivation when they don’t understand exactly what is required of them. So provide regular updates and keep everyone on the same page.

4. Develop others

Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s also about developing those around you. From a more selfish perspective, the more skilled your employees, the more they can assist you and the organization. Share your expertise and help everyone around you to grow.

5. Commitment

You can’t expect greater commitment than you’re willing to provide. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Set the ceiling high and show your team what true commitment looks like.

6. Inspirational

A great leader knows how to inspire others to do their best work. It’s not always easy to inspire those who are content to simply show up each day and collect a paycheck, but it’s possible. Show your motivation and commitment. Even if you’re only able to inspire a few people to do their best, it will make a difference.

7. Clarity of focus

If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively.

8. Respectful

Strive to treat everyone fairly and avoid playing favourites. Everyone is worthy of a basic level of respect. Ensure that you’re giving it.

9. Confident

It’s natural to be drawn to someone who is confident. People also view you as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. In contrast, lack of self-confidence limits the ability of others to trust your vision and judgement. Be comfortable with your skills and your plan.

10. Make tough decisions fearlessly

As a leader, you make decisions fearlessly and take 100% responsibility for the outcome – good or bad. It’s easy to make quick decisions when you’re clear about your values and those of your organization. Your leadership skills get called into question if you can’t make up your mind or are wishy-washy.

Decision-making gets easier with practice and experience. Practice by making small decisions quickly and following through on them. You’ll be surprised by how much more you accomplish when you make a clear decision and follow through on it.

Are you a great leader?

Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. You can grow your capacity to be a great and effective leader even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities.

Which of these traits have been of most use to you? And are there other leadership characteristics I’ve missed out? Please share in the comments.

(Image credit: Master Isolated Images at Free Digital Photos)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.