Anyone can launch a business or hold a high-ranking position in an established organization, but it takes a person with specific qualities to be a good leader. How can today’s greats like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates accomplish so much and continue to excel? More than just having innovative ideas, they invested years of time and effort into being influential leaders in their industries. What does that entail? Keep reading to learn more.
One of the first qualities of a good leader is being a visionary. It means you have a vision for the future. You see a need in the community, nation, or world and believe strongly in your ability to contribute to positive change. As a visionary, you don’t just dream; you are motivated by your desire to create plans and put them into action.
A good leader is driven by their passions. They work hard to accomplish tasks that will get them closer to their ultimate goal. They are not easily swayed or discouraged by negative opinions, setbacks, and obstacles. A successful leader’s passion is so high that their efforts inspire those around them to invest just as much.
It’s a common misconception that you know all there is to know when you’re on top or considered a leader. However, that’s not the case. A true leader knows that there’s always room for growth. Their thirst for knowledge inspires them to invest whatever is necessary into learning more about their industry, colleagues, employees, and customers. Whether that’s obtaining a PhD in leadership or taking professional development courses, good leaders will continuously seek opportunities to evolve.
How can you lead if you can’t effectively communicate with those working with you? A successful leader understands this and strives daily to connect with their team. They speak clearly in a manner that is easy to comprehend and respectful to others. Leaders also understand that communicating effectively means being able to actively listen to the opinion of others and be receptive to their input.
Leaders are charged with making decisions every day. They aren’t impulsive. They don’t allow their emotions to make decisions for them. Instead, good leaders evaluate the circumstances, gather as many facts as possible, seek outside counsel, and make an informed decision that’s best for the team, company, and overall objectives.
Influential leaders are open, honest, and accountable. When things go wrong, they don’t point the finger at others. They evaluate the situation and take accountability for their actions and even the actions of their team. They are forthcoming with the truth, have a willingness to learn from their mistakes, and take steps to avoid problems in the future.
A good leader knows they can’t make it alone. They don’t attempt to take everything on their shoulders. They also don’t kick their feet up while their team handles all the work. True leaders are great collaborators and team players. They rely on the help and expertise of others to help them accomplish goals. A successful leader is also not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get into the mix.
Problems will arise in business, but good leaders possess the skills to solve them. They identify the issue, determine the cause, and develop alternative strategies for a better outcome. If necessary, a good leader will turn to others to give them different perspectives and understandings of problems to make the most informed decisions to resolve them going forward.
After reviewing some of the qualities of a good leader, where do you measure up? If you don’t possess all these characteristics just yet, don’t be discouraged, as there is always time to improve. Start by evaluating your skills and qualities, identify your strengths and weaknesses, then invest in methods to evolve in these areas. Whether you get a mentor, obtain a degree, enroll in professional training classes, or learn through experience, you can become a better leader with determination and effort.