I’ve had the opportunity to serve on various teams, boards and organizations over the last 10 years. Whether in the private sector, or in the public field – I’ve come to learn many leadership lessons that have helped me grow and lead groups of people through a variety of different opportunities. While developing great leaders and great people is one of my many passions, I’ve come to know that no two people are made in the same shape, same attitude, or even with the same perspective on life. What often unites us as leaders, is the ability to go after a common or shared goal. Here are 4 traits that help define successful leaders.
Everyone has an opinion, and quite often in a group setting, opinions – and people clash. Great leaders are assertive – they aren’t afraid to remind people of where they are going, and how they are going to get there. Being assertive isn’t about yelling to have your way heard, or flexing muscle for the sake of it – it means being firm and bold, prioritizing what the goal is, over what individual opinions and thoughts. Great leaders are assertive to ensure that the goal is reached, and success is had.
2. Successful leaders are empowering
Some of the best leaders I’ve gotten to known over the years – were people who empowered their followers to outperform their leader. Empowering people means equipping them to dream bigger, push harder, and grow bigger than what they are currently doing. I love finding out what people’s dreams are, and then helping them outline steps to get there. Maybe you can lend your time, or your talent to someone on your team? Give people authority, and show them respect in return – you will see empowered leaders are always more productive.
3. Successful leaders are confident
Something I learned early in my personal development – people love confidence. People love a leader who will set a path, outline a vision, and then bring people along for the ride. If you want people to believe in you – you’ve got to first believe in yourself! Give people an assurance, a certainty that where you are taking them is somewhere you are not only willing to go, but somewhere you are willing to lead.
4. Successful leaders communicate
The majority of issues I’ve encountered leading teams – had to do with a breakdown in communication at some point. Whether it’s people not understanding what you’ve been trying to say, or the leader not communicating what is going on – Communication is essential for any leader to thrive. Be in the know, give people a heads up, and communicate what is going on as early as possible. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.