Becoming a great leader takes commitment and effort. Becoming a great leader isn’tabout charisma or chance. It’s about developing the skills necessary to lead, motivate,and influence people in good and bad times. Although there are many skills that makesomeone a leader, here are 15 key traits that make a person a great leader.
Quality # 1 : They’re lifelong learnersGreat leaders never stop learning about their industry, themselves, their team, andhow to best motivate their people. They realize that there is never a point when you―know it all.‖ There is always something new to learn.
"In thinking there is creating, increating there is doing, in doing there is learning, in learning there is success."
Quality # 2 : They’re intelligent – both IQ and EQNo one wants to work for a dummy. Everyone wants to be in continuous learningmode. Great leaders provide a smart platform for their people. When the leaderis a bit slow on the uptake it’s difficult to sustain motivation.
A boat doesnt go forward if each one is rowing their own way. - Swahili Proverb
Quality # 3 : They listenGreat leaders understand the 2:1 ratio—two ears and one mouth. Leaders don’t just barkorders. They listen to their team, their customers, their peers, and their competitors becausethey know it is the best way to understand a situation so they can make the best decisionpossible.
"Be eager to listen,but be careful how you respond."
Quality # 4 : They focusGreat leaders have the gift of focus, and the ability to turn that focus to the right problem atthe right time. They also need to get their people to focus on the right things. Focusing as anindividual requires motivation; focusing a group requires creating a culture of Accountability.
In a moment of decision the best thingyou can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. - Theodore Roosevelt
Quality # 5 : They accept and validate inputGreat leaders don’t operate in a vacuum assuming that they always know best. They know toconsider input from everyone impacted by a decision in order to get buy-in from their team,stay grounded and remain objective. Although they retain final say, they’re team will standbehind the decision knowing that they’re input was wholeheartedly weighed and considered. "Its not WHOS right, its WHATS right."
"Before you decide to do that, if you were the president of the universefor one day, is that the best decision to lead? Can we celebrate and hire you for the next day?"
Quality # 6 : They consider the past, present and futureGreat leaders understand where their organization has been, where it’s at, and where it’sgoing. They don’t only barrel forward, ignoring what’s happening now, nor do they ignorethe lessons learned from past experiences. Instead they take a balanced approach sothey can adjust, maintain, and move forward.
Leaders are the ones who keep faith withthe past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity. Harold J. Seymour
Quality # 7 : They know when to deliberate and when to shootfrom the hipGreat leaders possess a strong knack for knowing when to make a decision and jump on anopportunity or when to exercise prudence instead. It’s a skill developed over time, and thosewho master it are able to navigate through a variety of circumstances without sinking the ship.
Be willing to make decisions. Thats the mostimportant quality in a good leader. Dont fallvictim to what I call the ready-aim-aim-aim- aim syndrome. You must be willing to fire. - T. Boone Pickens
Quality # 8 : They accept responsibilityThey accept the consequences both good and bad for their decisions and leadership,even if it means going down with the ship. They never pass the buck.
A chief is a man who assumesresponsibility. He says "I was beaten,"he does not say "My men were beaten." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Quality # 9 : They are competitiveGreat leaders are competitive because building a successful business means looking at thecompetition and deciding to beat them at their own game. Look for a leader who playedhockey in college or who takes parts in every women’s leadership marathon known to be– they’re relentless competitors. It’s a long distance race to stay fresh and in the game.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keysthat will unlock the door to personal excellence. - Confucius
Quality # 10 : They are able to delegateGreat leaders are not supposed to do all the work themselves. They’re supposedto delegate, and trust employees to follow through. If you think (or hear) a leaderis a micromanager, head for the door.
The best executive is the onewho has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. ~Theodore Roosevelt
Quality # 11 : They are resoluteGreat leaders must be resolute. Totally committed to the task at hand, committed to thepeople who work for you, determined to make it work. Wishy-washy leaders don’t getthings done. They leave employees feeling leaderless and confused. Be resolute, orwatch employees leave. Do not wait until it’s too late.
"When youre interested in something, you do itonly when its convenient. When youre committed to something, you acceptno excuses, only results." -Ken Blanchard
Quality # 12 : They demand excellence, but allow mistakesGreat leaders inspire people to grow and challenge them to be better than they aretoday. They let people make mistakes and help them find ways to learn and improveinstead of punishing them.
Quality # 13 : They create opportunities for othersGreat leaders create opportunities for people to learn, grow, or even move on. Theytreat people as an end in themselves, not merely as a means to an end, making surethat everyone has the ability to thrive both within and outside of the organization.
"A Leader is someone who nurtures others and allows them to progress and perform to their bestability. Whoever restricts others from growing, they have no faith in their own ability as a leader."
Quality #14: They know how to motivate different kinds of peopleGreat leaders know that leadership is not one-size fits-all. They understand howto assess and motivate different kinds of people toward success, not just peoplewho think like them.
"A leaders role is to raise peoples aspirations forwhat they can become andto release their energies so they will try to get there." - David R. Gergen
Quality # 15 : They stand behind and stand up for their peopleGreat leaders know that respect and integrity rests on the fact that they will stand upfor their people and push them forward. The best leaders aren’t necessarily the onesin front.
"As sharp as an arrow, a leader is the tip; able to penetrate any substance.The followers are the bodyof the arrow; it follows the tip wherever it goes."
Great leaders put others first and find ways to help others grow. They’re not rockstars or talking heads. They’re cheerleaders, teachers, listeners, moderators, andcan be found at any level of an organization—not just in management. Aboveall, a great leader is nothing without people.
Every leader needs to look back once in a while to make sure he has followers. ~ Unknown Thank You Very Much Sompong Yusoontorn