There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to leading teams. There are, however, multiple leadership styles with pros and cons to each of them. Some leaders like to guide their teams using rewards and penalties. Others aim to inspire their teams to innovate, while other leaders prefer to serve first and lead second. Each leadership style requires some trial and error to get it right.
While every leader is different, the best leaders exemplify certain qualities. There are some commonalities between the great leaders. Today, we are sharing those with you.
Integrity. The best leaders are always honest and do what they say they are going to do. They earn their employees’ trust and always act for the greater good. They are the ones you can consistently count on.
Humility. No one likes leaders who think they know everything or are better than those who report to them. Great leaders make themselves approachable, available and show their vulnerable side to their team. This humility inspires others to instinctively want to work with them to achieve their goals.
A desire to empower others. The best leaders seek out the right people and then get out of their way. They trust their people to get the job done. They do not micromanage, and they do not try to take on everything themselves. Instead, they establish clear goals and values and help others work according to those principles.
Solid communication skills. Most leaders got to where they are because they know how to communicate well. The best leaders are powerful communicators, inspiring others to action, and making sure their team members understand their directives. They provide a clear vision of the future they see.
An ability to share their vision. Great leaders do not just set a compelling vision for the future; they also attract and inspire others to join them on the journey. They know it is not about the title but about inspiration. They know how to communicate their vision with clarity and specificity, and they demonstrate their passion when it comes to reaching goals.
Empathy. Everyone wants to be seen and heard; they want to know that they are cared for. That is why the best leaders demonstrate empathy. They relate to and understand those they lead and extend help when needed. Great leaders know the importance of understanding their team’s fundamental needs.
Competence. The best leaders know how to do their jobs well, and they also make sure to bring highly capable people along. They understand the value of creating teams with different skills and bringing on professionals who are smarter than them.
Accountability. When something goes wrong, the best leaders accept personal responsibility. They have a mentality of “the buck stops here.” If you reflect on some of history’s most respected leaders, you will see individuals who gave their teams credit for success and stepped up when things did not go as planned. At the same time, they praise their team when they achieve success.
Gratitude. Leaders who are grateful often think less of themselves and reflect on how they can help their team. This ability to focus more on the needs of team members is a key attribute of a great leader.
Self-awareness. Leaders have a strong understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They know they do not have it all figured out, and they stay open to learning new things. They also welcome constructive criticism and put in the work to get better at their jobs.
Do you see any of these leadership qualities in yourself? Or maybe you notice these qualities in one of your team members? Not everyone has what it takes to lead well. If you want to improve your own skills or build up someone on your team, begin by cultivating the traits above–and thrive.