Whatever your position, whatever field you’re working in, whatever type of organization, the fundamentals of strong leadership are the same. Here are the eight qualities I consider essential to strong, effective, successful leadership:
The competence in being positive. A positive attitude, especially from top management, can set a tone and signal others to be more positive—and, in turn, productive. When you’re optimistic about yourself and what you’re doing as well as about other people, you’re much more likely to inspire others to be and do their best. Positivity is contagious, and it’s a vital part of being a strong leader.
The ability to be decisive. The ability to make difficult decisions based on the facts and circumstances of each specific situation is an important quality for effective leadership. To be a good leader, you need to rely on both your reason and your intuition and be able to pull everything you know together on the fly when a timely decision is required. Making decisions, especially difficult decisions, quickly and without waffling is among the most important elements of leadership.
The resourcefulness to delegate. A confident leader is not afraid to let others handle the workload, and they know they can trust their team to get the job done. It is less confident leaders who are wary of delegating and feel that they need to control everything. If you have confidence in your people, they will show you how competent they are.
The character of integrity. Everyone wants to be led by a leader who embodies integrity. If others are following your lead, it’s critical that you model integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and accountability in everything you do. When all is said and done, integrity is the most important thing of all in leadership.
The ability to listen to others. Listening is a skill, and it’s one that everyone, in every position, at every level—and especially those in leadership—should be proficient in and practice daily. Allowing others to speak and be heard is among the hallmarks of good leadership.
The essence of humility. Humble leaders know that even though they are in charge, the contributions of others are equally important. They also understand that admitting mistakes is not a sign of weakness but a demonstration of strength. When you incorporate humility into your leadership, you’re on the path to building a strong, courageous team that collaborates and communicates well.
The wisdom of being approachable. Leadership is a privilege, and in order for it to be truly effective you need to be accessible and approachable. People should always feel that the channels of communication are open and be comfortable sharing both good and bad news. Make sure you keep yourself available and responsive to the needs of those you lead.
The mastery of motivation. One of the most difficult jobs for a leader is motivating others, especially when the circumstances are complex or difficult. The best way to master the art of motivation is by setting a good example yourself. In tough times, people look to their leadership for cues about how to react. If you lead from within, with high standards and steady action, you will automatically motivate and inspire others .
How many of these qualities do you have within your own leadership? It’s never too soon to begin cultivating any elements you may be lacking. Remember, those who are following you expect you to lead with greatness.
Lead from within: To keep your leadership strong, hold your focus on the essential qualities of the role.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.