Leadership ey, is it something you can teach or a natural talent someone is born with? Is there a secret sauce that you can tap into and, voila, you’ve got a top-notch leader in the making? What are the qualities of a good leader?
Well, we get asked these kinds of questions a lot – and to be honest, it’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ type answers. Leaders can be both born and made. Some people naturally possess the gift of the gab, for other’s it’s something they can learn and develop.
But what makes a leader? Or rather, what makes a GOOD leader? Well, here are our thoughts on the top five qualities that go hand in hand with great leadership.
What Is Leadership?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary… only kidding!
Leadership means different things to different people, but here’s what it means to us guys at Zest.
A leader is someone who can drive the best out of situations and the people around them. Now, when we say the best we don’t mean maximum work output – good leaders don’t rule with fear.
What we do mean is someone who can manage a team with efficiency, balance a strong work ethic with a positive workplace environment and motivate real brilliance from the people around them.
So, why are good leaders important for your business? Well, having strong leaders in your management team will lead to:
A great place for your employees to work
Amazing results for you and your business
A plethora of great talent in your team
Low staff turnover
But what makes a great leader? That’s what you’ve come here for after all. Well, keep on reading to discover the key positive leadership traits we think you and your team need.
Top 5 Qualities Of A Good Leader
Now, this list could truly go on for pages, but we wanted to keep it succinct.
So, without further ado, here are our top 5 attributes of a good leader:
Integrity is such an important quality to have as a leader. Whilst integrity isn’t something you can measure with metrics and targets, without it you run the risk of falling flat.
Think about the roles and responsibilities your management team carry. Chances are they have the power to make some pretty significant decisions on your behalf. That’s why integrity came top of our list.
This is a biggy. If you can’t communicate, how do people know what you need from them?
When we say communication, we don’t just mean being able to speak loudly or clearly. What we mean is the way you communicate with other people. A good communicator can:
Get their point across concisely and successfully
Listen to what others are telling them
Read a situation well, and adjust themselves accordingly
Retain what they’re told
Did this one surprise you? If so, that’s probably because it’s more of an inward-facing skill, as opposed to one that obviously impacts those around you.
However, a great leader will always strive to get the best out of people – and that includes themselves. If you’ve got a manager who thinks they’re the bee’s knees, 10/10, the best of the best, this could be a red flag.
Nobody’s perfect and everyone has room to grow. That’s why being self-aware and being able to reflect on areas of self-improvement are extremely admirable qualities in a leader.
To get the most out of your team, respect is non-negotiable.
A business built on respect is going to experience less conflict and will find itself flourishing.
Top tip: don’t confuse respect with the absence of disrespect – they’re not the same thing. Being respectful is so much more than not being rude to the people around you. It’s a combination of active listening, empathy, recognition and so much more.
In a nutshell, being respectful means paying attention and acting on what you observe.
5. Ability To Delegate
You’ve probably heard, ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’. That’s all good and well, but there are only so many hours in a day.
We prefer ‘if you want something done right, train your team the right way’. A good leader should have faith that the people they’ve surrounded themselves with are perfectly capable of tackling the task at hand. They should also be able to relinquish control.
Effective delegation will give you and your managers the time you need to work on your business, as opposed to in it. The knock-on effect of this? Growth, growth, growth.
How To Work On Your Leadership Skills
So, let’s say you’ve read through our top five and you’re thinking; “I’ve only ticked off three, now what?!”
Don’t panic – whilst some of these qualities may come more naturally for some than others as long as you’re willing to learn it’s definitely something you can work on.
At Zest, we believe that leaders are moulded through experience and adaptation – it’s a constant journey that you’ll probably be working at for the rest of your career.
If there are certain leadership qualities you don’t recognise in yourself it’s time to start with some self-reflection.
Let’s say, for example, you’re not sure that you’re the best communicator. Try writing down five daily tasks for yourself that will improve your communication skills. Doing these every day will slowly help you work towards making them a habit.
Remember, these are our top 5 good qualities of a good leader – there are loads of other important leadership qualities that we haven’t added to this list.
If you’re really feeling lost, don’t worry. Here at Zest, we know what good leaders are made of – and how to make them. Want some more info? Drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.