What are some of the key characteristics of good leaders? It takes a special kind of person to be a good leader. The same is true for being a good manager. Some leaders have that natural flair, and the qualities of a good leader is a part of them. It comes naturally. Others have to work at developing leadership qualities. Whether it comes naturally or it takes effort and time, there are some characteristics that you must have if you are to be a good leader. Allow me to share a few essential points that I consider integral and beyond anything you learn from textbooks.

Key Characteristics of Good Leaders – Points to Consider

1. A Good Leader Leads by Example

They can roll up their sleeves and get the job done when necessary. In today’s society, we see the high fliers who sit back in their offices and only appear when there is someone to scold or when there is praise to be had. Might I say, for work they did not do.

2. Sees Potential in Individuals

They can see potential in the individuals in their team. They are willing to nurture that potential. We often see people stuck in a dead-end job, not going anywhere. This is not necessarily because the person cannot grow. At the same time, I am the first to agree that every individual is responsible for their success or failure. The leader helps give that extra push needed to excel and grow. Individuals that grow are not a threat to those above them; they are a compliment.

3. Is Not a “Yes Man or Woman.”

I expect the person to recognise unrealistic goals and call them out when they see them. They can challenge the expectations of the business if it’s unrealistic.   Does it fit the long term plan of the business? Does it make sense? A good leader knows when to speak up.

4. Gives Credit for a Job Well Done

They know to share credit for work well done. A good leader knows when to say, “I did not do this on my own”. Giving credit where credit is due is humbling and liberating. It takes away that self-centred focus that tarnishes the qualities of leadership. Be generous with your praise for your team when it is deserving. It will bring you respect and appreciation.

In Conclusion

Throughout my work life, I have had the opportunity to deal with all kinds of leaders and managers, some of who live the key characteristics of good leaders. I have had a chance to meet some great leaders. Most of them were very humble and very successful. Successful leadership is more than just a title!

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