7 Top Traits of a True Leader

7 traits of a true leader

Whether or not you have a team working for you yet, running a successful business requires stepping into a leadership role. It can be a daunting prospect but like most things in life leadership skills can be learned and developed, so never fear! The truth is there are a number of common traits found in the best leaders and some of them you probably already have.

Every time you step into the unknown, make a hard decision or take responsibility for a mistake you’re building your leadership muscles without even noticing.

Here are seven top traits of a great leader:

  1. Self-awareness and behavioural flexibility. An important area for a leader to develop – growing your self-awareness means identifying and understanding your strengths and weaknesses, your motivators (and demotivators), communication style and exactly what you bring to the table. It’s also important to have a reasonably high level of “emotional intelligence” or EQ, and to recognise how your words and behaviour impact those around you. Knowing when to push harder or pull back in response to a given situation gives any leader a genuine advantage. Our Extended DISC Behavioural Profiling is a terrific tool for raising self-awareness and developing behavioural flexibility!
  2. Ability to maintain a positive attitude. Keeping your team (or yourself!) upbeat and optimistic means that you must maintain a positive attitude and present an energetic front. Of course there must be productivity to meet goals, but you should be able to balance the working hours with some fun times. When those around you see your positive attitude, it will rub off. Think about what brings you to life and how you might share that in the workplace or within your industry. Be someone others want to be around.
  3. Honesty and integrity. Hold yourself and those who work with you to a high standard of honesty and ethical conduct. Treat everyone with dignity. Your family and followers are reflections of you, so if you practice honest and ethical behaviour, they will follow your pattern. As a leader it can be tempting to take short cuts and appeal to the masses but if you want to build something sustainable you must operate with integrity and be prepared to make the hard calls. Sometimes that will be painful, but it’s part and parcel of the job.  
  4. Ability to communicate. Ronald Reagan was known as “The Great Communicator,” and looking back at his lifestyle, it’s easy to understand why. He was able to clearly explain and focus on what needed to be done and express it in a way that was easily understood. If you have trouble communicating you can read books, take a course in achieving better communication skills or check out our coaching programs for business owners. If you struggle with saying no or setting boundaries you can give your skills a boost with our free e-book Say No Easily.
  5. Ability to commit. George Patton, commanding general in World War II was a soldier who got up close and personal to those under his command. He fought in the trenches and made it a point to be wherever his men were experiencing difficulty. As a leader, you must make a commitment to lead by example. Commit to being there and seeing things through even when it gets hard or complicated. Commit to taking responsibility when things go wrong. Commit to developing your leadership skills and over time your commitment will have the right folks following you to the end of the earth.
  6. Maintaining a sense of humour. The day to day business of being a leader can wear you down, but if you maintain a sense of humour through the discouraging times, you, and those around you, will maintain higher morale. Beware of your ego as a leader, it requires you and others to stay serious, and it can bring you down faster than you realise. Taking yourself lightly and staying humble will make it much easier to see the funny side when challenges inevitably pop up.
  7. Wisdom and creativity. A leader should have the ability to adapt a plan to accommodate creative new ideas. They must see the big picture and have the wisdom to appreciate how things connect. Again, a sense of humility and the ability to be vulnerable are important here because true creativity can only happen when you’re not afraid of making a mistake. And wisdom comes when we learn from those mistakes. Work hard to cultivate a work environment that consistently creates high value and foster innovation by modelling vulnerability at work.

How many do you already embody or possess?

Accomplishing great things or even achieving smaller goals starts with becoming a true leader of your self. There is no limit when it comes to myriad rewards and benefits of learning how to lead well. Even if you don’t yet have a team, knowing that you can confidently lead your family through trials and tribulations is another great reason to develop your leadership skills.

Regardless of your aspirations, growing your leadership skills will only move you closer to realising them. If you want to see how coaching can help book your free Intro Call today.

Until next time,

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