Whether you believe a person is born a leader, naturally having leadership attributes or, a person who has learned these skills through theory and experience, there are certainly a combination of leadership characteristics that a good leader has. These include; empathy, flexibility, being forward thinking and innovative to name a few.
There are however, three characteristics that can make a good leader, great.
A great leader is accessible and easy to approach in any situation. Their team feel comfortable to ask questions and to bring issue to their attention as they arise which can foster an open and supportive culture. If the team also feel safe to share ideas with the leader, this encourages contribution and collaboration making the team stronger as a result.
No one willingly follows a person who lacks confidence. This isn’t to be confused with being cocky or arrogant but having a certain assurance in oneself can be attractive and reassuring to a team. Of course a leader needs to remain open to feedback and input from others but showing no sign of doubt or uncertainty can boost the confidence of a team.
Great leaders are also confident and positive about situations, the future and in the people they lead. Their belief and conviction is encouraging, particularly in tough or challenging times.
There is nothing worse than being unsure or nervous about what mood or reaction one can expect from their leader on any given day. Regardless of what is happening in their personal lives or the pressure they are under, a leader’s response and reaction must always be steady and in line with the team’s values and mission. As a result, they are dependable and the team feel safe in their presence rather than walking on eggshells.
Consistency also means being fair and equal with every person within the team, regardless of their position, history or relationship with the leader. They treat everyone with the same level of respect and hold people equally accountable.
A great leader is always looking to grow and develop their skills. They understand the leadership characteristics they are personally strong and capable in and take action to improve those that may need strengthening.
There is no doubt being approachable, exuding confidence and unswerving consistency, can help build trust in a leader. Trust is a key in great leadership, without it, leadership is difficult if not impossible.