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What Makes a Great Leader?


Who is a good leader? If only one could lead like the great orchestra conductors – a flick of a wand and out emerges music! But when diverse situations call for varying leadership approaches, it is clear that one size cannot fit all.


Organizations can have multiple perspectives on the qualities of effective leadership. Many people also confuse leadership with effective delegation. However, leadership is much more than that.


A great leader is someone who gets the job done while empowering people to succeed together.


While some people seem born to lead, others can learn leadership skills through practice and experience. True leadership isn’t only about big ideas. It often lies in the essential characteristics and skills that are the building blocks of an impactful leader.



Vision and Strategic Thinking


Good leaders set their sights on the big picture for the company. What’s more, they can articulate this vision and create a road map for how to get there.


Sharing this vision and inspiring others towards action are the hallmarks of a great leader. A clear vision means everyone is on board with the company’s goals. By default, it infuses added energy into the workplace and challenges team members to give it their all.


Planning


Fantastic ideas can fall flat without the best-laid plans. Great leaders bring together not only the vision but a blueprint for how to achieve these goals. They are not only personally organized but can define timelines and results for the entire organization.


Empathy


True leaders understand that kindness doesn’t undermine authority. Empathy forges deeper connections, offering glimpses into their team’s motivations and hopes.


Listening without judgment is an empathetic skill. When leaders mindfully listen to their team, it allows them to enhance or creatively revisit work strategies. Great leaders build a culture where organizational and individual goals come together in the best possible way.


Communication


To empathize, it is imperative to listen and communicate clearly. One of the best ways to inspire people is to make them feel heard. When leaders demonstrate a sincere interest in the lives of their team, it automatically builds trust.


Eye contact and keeping electronic devices away show you are genuinely interested in listening. Watch out for non-verbal cues in team members’ interactions and be mindful of your body language.


Integrity


While competence makes good leaders, integrity makes you a fantastic one. Setting an example of how teams should perform or conduct themselves is vital – especially when nobody is looking.


There are several ways in which a leader demonstrates integrity. It comes through in how you communicate with employees across all levels. Integrity is the willingness to dive in and help the team achieve its goals. Employees will closely observe how accountable you are when things get tough – particularly the ability to recognize your own mistakes and apologize.


Confidence


Great leaders roll up their sleeves and take charge. With complete faith in their ideas, they steer their team decisively towards desired results and goals. These leaders are passionate and take personal responsibility for team morale and confidence.


A crack in a leader’s armor could send mixed signals to the team. The key is to stay calm and confident. When setbacks occur, seek solutions and promptly reassure the team.


An organization’s success depends on its people. Leaders can positively impact their team’s happiness and productivity, creating a ripple effect on the business as a whole. The best leaders adapt to different environments and facilitate success for everyone involved.