What makes good leadership? What are the key leadership traits?
Are you an entrepreneur who believes they have the trait of a good leader?
Over the years, I have built three businesses, consulted more than a thousand businesses, and during this process, we sought to make business leaders an authority in their field.
From personal experience, I can say that leadership is easier said than done.
Because there is not just one thing that makes a great leader.
Like there is not just one thing that makes a great basketball player.
You need to be able to dribble, shoot, pass, and defend.
Same with leadership.
This is why, in this article, I want to explore what are some of the most important characteristics we have identified that make great leaders.
But before we start, let’s explore why it is important to be a good leader.
Why is it important to be a good leader?
Being a good leader has several fundamental benefits of which will benefit you, your business, but importantly your team.
The importance of a good leader can, of course, be seen to be vital in securing hefty profits for your business, but being a good leader has greater importance than just supporting your business; being a good leader ultimately enables your employees’ to reach their full potential.
This idea stems from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, whereby in order for an individual to reach self-actualization, they need to attain basic needs and psychological needs.
A good leader is vital in order to secure basic needs such as security by providing them with employment. However, a good leader is pivotal in ensuring the psychological needs, whether it be providing support in terms of wellbeing or ensuring that employees feel a sense of accomplishment.
A good leader recognizes the needs of their staff and seeks to ensure that they can do the best they can for their employees.
Indeed, if your employees reach self-actualization, it isn’t just them that benefit but your business too.
Traits a leader should have:
- Caregiver: Much linked to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a good leader should be able to ensure that their employees’ needs are met. This doesn’t mean providing them with shelter but rather ensuring that there is a recognition of their good work, supporting their wellbeing, or indeed, being a friend too.
- Vision: A good leader needs a vision. A vision that sets out to solve a given problem or make an existing solution better. This will drive and motivate a leader and, critically, their team to achieve their desired goals.
- Passion: It is all well with having a vision, but in order to achieve it, a leader needs passion—an internal drive to achieve their goals and go beyond them. When a leader has a vision alongside a strong passion, the chances of achieving success are considerably higher.
- Communicator: A leader should be a good communicator. Someone who has the ability to communicate their vision and passion to a team will achieve greater. Being a good communicator is more than the ability to share your but also the ability to demonstrate these ideas in practice.
Traits a leader ought to avoid
- Selfish: A leader who is selfish is a leader who is blind. A leader should always strive to do better for their business, themself but fundamentally their team. It is the team that the leader surrounds themself with that carries the leader and business to their desired goals. If a leader takes their team on their journey to success, the team will get them there faster.
- Close-minded: If a leader decides to be close-minded, then they will miss opportunities. A leader should pursue different avenues if they can. A leader will learn from mistakes and adapt for the future. A good leader is someone who recognizes that sometimes their way isn’t the best way.
- Entitled: When a leader becomes entitled, they forget the struggles of how they reached their goals. Leaders should never take anything for granted and always aim to improve their business, themself, and their team. In continuing to adapt and improve, a leader will truly become an authority in their field.
The role of a leader is fundamental in not only achieving success but ultimately in achieving the success of those around them.
A good leader will excel if they have a vision, passion, and have the communication skills but will ultimately rely on supporting their team in order to fulfill their vision. A leader should avoid being selfish, close-minded, and entitled.
This will restrict the leader and the team that follows them from reaching their full opportunities and becoming an authority in their field.
When you next find yourself in a position whereby you question your leadership traits, think about how you can do better and enact upon it, and don’t forget to tell me how it goes!