Traits that make a great leader
Leaders are inspiring, motivating, encouraging, and bettering other people. No two leaders will be the same, and that is okay. However, these are some universal traits that make a great leader.
1. Have the ability to make difficult decisions
Most people have the ability to lead when things are going well, but what about when things become difficult? What happens then? Can they handle the pressure of having to make difficult decisions with the consequences that come along with that? A great leader knows how to keep people calm and stable during such times. They also know when to let go of what others think as not everyone will be pleased with all of their decision-making. Feedback should be welcomed, but as a leader, it will be impossible to make everyone happy within every single situation. They will have the ability to handle such pressures.
2. Are empathetic
Great leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence. These types of people can understand other people’s emotions as well as their own, and they genuinely care about the outcomes of other people around them. They do not think to themselves, “What can I get from this person?” They think to themselves, “What can I give to this person?” People desire to follow someone who cares about them. People generally do not like following a person who bullies others. We cannot lead without the human element of ourselves. It is how we connect as human beings.
3. Let go and forgive
Forgiveness is a sign of strength. Everyone has trials and hardships within their life, but one of the traits that make a great leader is their ability to let that go and learn from the trial instead in order to help others with similar obstacles. They truly either win or learn.
4. Empower and inspire people
For leaders, this is a natural instinct. They bring out the best in others. They have a natural ability to cause an intense reaction with others that ultimately pushes others towards a positive and common goal. Other people within their presence will always leave inspired.
5. Adapt to the people around them in order to bring out the best in them
Great leaders know how to adapt to the people around them. Each person has a unique personality with a unique set of talents. A great leader knows how to adjust themselves accordingly to each individual to help them flourish.
6. Do not have favourites
Great leaders are morally just and fair. They do not let the consequences for one individual be different from another on the team. If favouritism is involved, then some bitterness and resentment could be developed within their team. This, in turn, would create a difficult and tense atmosphere for everyone involved.
7. Continuously seek to learn
A great leader is open-minded. They do not have a fixed mindset, but they instead have a growth mindset. No one knows everything. A leader with a high level of intelligence will know to keep growing and evolving. After all, it is important to take into consideration that there is something that can be learned from everyone in the world.
8. Read people well
Great leaders have the ability to read people extremely well, and this will help them be able to delegate people effectively. If a leader can sense other people’s strengths and weaknesses accurately, then they will know what positions they can entrust people with.
9. Know how to handle difficult people and when to let go of toxic people
Being a leader will mean that you will be efficient at managing people in a positive manner. This also includes difficult people, and a great leader will know how to adjust him or herself towards such behavior in order to help keep the sanity and peace for everyone involved.
Toxic people are also a different manner. Difficult people can be worked with. Toxic people cannot. Great leaders understand how to distinguish between and know when and how to let go of toxic people in order to keep a healthy and positive environment.
10. Know their strengths and weaknesses
A great leader knows his or her strengths and weaknesses. They then use this knowledge to help them further in life, and they choose other people within their team whose strengths are their weaknesses.
11. Take responsibility for their actions
One of the traits that make a great leader is that they take responsibility for their actions. They do not pass the blame onto others within their team when something goes wrong. They instead see their mistakes, admit them, and then improve for the future.
12. Praise the people around them
No one wants to follow anyone who is critical for the majority of the time. While constructive criticism is necessary, a great leader knows how to balance the two. All people like praise and all people want to feel important as well as appreciated for the job that they do. A great leader will know how to balance this.
13. Are confident and decisive
Great leaders are confident as well as decisive. When they are confident, this will bring reassurance to their team members around them that everything will turn out okay. A leader who seems doubtful will cause their teammates to be doubtful as well.
14. Utilize other people’s talents towards their best potential
Leaders motivate and inspire. A great leader doesn’t need to know everything. They just need to have the ability to identify other people’s strengths as well as manage other people in a healthy manner on their team. A leader will know how to use other people’s abilities and strengths effectively as well as encourage each person to perform at his or her highest potential. Leaders can be more like coaches in this regard.
15. Know when to listen
Sometimes a second opinion is needed in extremely taxing situations. This takes humility. A leader knows how to be decisive, but they also know when the time is needed for a second opinion. This is often sought out by a mentor or someone they trust who is a bit more knowledgeable in the area of expertise they are seeking input in.
16. Are comfortable with the uncomfortable
It is not uncommon for leaders to be found in situations that can make them feel very tense and uneasy. Being a leader is not for the faint of heart. A great leader will know how to push past these uncomfortable feelings in order to achieve their goals.
17. Are positive
People don’t want to be around someone who is pessimistic all the time. Leaders who are positive will enforce a better atmosphere for those around them. This helps others feel as if they too can do something great with their lives. This, in turn, creates a more productive environment.
18. Have discipline
Great leaders are disciplined. They work hard. They make goals, and they achieve those goals. You will never find a leader having to be motivated by other people to get their work done. They will be the ones to motivate themselves instead. They motivate others to better themselves.
So there are the traits that make a great leader. Do you agree?
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Tracey is a business owner, artist, and blogger.