Leadership is a concept that people don’t always understand in terms of an exact definition. Many individuals assume that to be a leader, you must be in a high position but this is often not true. However, the term “leadership” means many things to different people, depending on the perspective it is being considered from. Notwithstanding, one good definition of leadership is “a person who performs the action of motivating and inspiring people to be a better version of themselves.”
Anyone can be placed in a leadership role, but the position is not what makes an effective leader. To become a leader, there is a need for you to demonstrate some qualities or traits. Since leadership is the ability of a person to influence others positively and motivate them to achieve the desired goal, below are some of the essential traits you need to possess to be considered a leader regardless of your position within an organisation.
Taking responsibility for outcomes
Research has shown that people are always happy to take credit for success, and they are quick to blame others for any failures. One of the essential qualities a leader can possess is a sense of responsibility. Taking responsibility is one of the most significant marks of a leader; it is a step more than being accountable. Taking responsibility and owning up to mistakes and failures is one of the most effective leadership traits. A good leader not only recognises what is wrong; he also takes a step further into finding a solution to a problem. Making mistakes is unavoidable in life, even as a leader, but those with the traits of a leader are always willing to accept the outcome of their choices, and they are more concerned about how they could have done things in a better way.
Willingness to listen to others
People who are always ready to listen more than they talk have the trait of leaders since effective communication is a core skill required of a leader. Listening builds trust when you make an effort to hear others out, showing that you are genuinely concerned about them. Listening also encourages empathy, and it gives you room to learn from others; no one is an island of knowledge, even if you are a leader. As a leader, be ready to listen and accept new ideas from team members. It helps you to widen your knowledge and improve your judgment.
Patience is a trait that is essential for effective leadership to exist. With patience in leadership, it is easier to be committed to getting a task done. It is only with patience one can achieve more outstanding results. An effective leader is a person that instils the importance of patience and tenacity in himself and other team members. True leaders understand that it is only by being patient that they will build enough capacity to focus on situations. Patience is built upon the understanding of what needs to be done to avoid focusing on an irrelevant task. And one of the best ways to earn the respect of others is when you are patient in tough times, with the belief that situations can always get better as long as efforts are being put in place.
Ability to make better decisions
The most important task of a leader lies in making decisions, and it is the live wire of any organisation. Decision making is one of the most challenging tasks leaders encounter in their day-to-day activities. Decision making is an essential skill of leadership, but a good leader is expected to make effective decisions that will enable an organisation to achieve positive results. Therefore, those who are ready to think critically to evaluate a situation before reaching a solution have the trait of a good leader.
There is no doubt that leadership requires exceptional time management skills because unlimited activities and deadlines are always by the corner. Still, an individual with leadership traits can manage his schedule correctly. Leaders spend time in planning, execution and evaluation of tasks. As a leader, you need to know how to allocate your time to enable you to meet deadlines. Time is the same in every organisation, and it is irreversible. No matter how wealthy you are, nothing can be substituted for time. Leaders have numerous demands; therefore, a leader should master time management skills.
Being a good leader means that you are open to innovations and ideas. An individual who understands that there is no right way of doing things will make a better leader. A leader needs to be adaptable when a situation he never expects occurs. Even with proper planning and strategy, it is not guaranteed that everything will go smoothly. An effective leader should embrace circumstances and persevere to find answers to questions. The importance of flexibility cannot be overemphasised because it gives one the ability to change goals and plans to match life reality.
In conclusion, if you want to be seen as a leader, you should be willing to undergo continuous improvement. In addition, allow others to depend on you when the need arises, and one of such ways in which you can display dependability is taking your fair share of tasks and seeing them through till the very end.
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Recommended books for further reading:
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
- Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect
- The Self Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt and Improving Self-Esteem
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. Change Your Life