The impact of leadership characteristics extends significantly to both your personal and professional life. Within a business context, these qualities crucially impact your long-term success. They encompass a wide range of skills, from guiding employees to accomplish tasks effectively to managing project schedules and ensuring the fulfilment of business goals.
If your goal is to improve as a leader, whether in your professional or personal endeavours, developing core leadership qualities is essential.
For any business to thrive, it requires an exceptional leader who can connect the dots between various aspects, such as translating work Excel sheets into customer value proposals and aligning projected statistics with the overarching vision. Failing to prioritise leadership development can result in a substantial loss of 7% of total yearly sales for the company, as the data suggests. Hence, fostering leadership characteristics is of utmost importance.
Let's delve into the key characteristics that define a good leader.
1) Effective Communication
Effective communication is a vital skill for a leader to proficiently express their ideas and directives to the team. It serves as a linchpin that can either result in organisational clarity and improved performance or lead to confusion and subpar outcomes.
A skilled leader understands the significance of developing their communication abilities, achieved through practices like seeking feedback from the team, actively listening before responding and tailoring the message to suit the audience's needs.
2) Problem-solving skills
Team members will approach the team leader about problems they want to solve. A leader must be prepared with strategic guidance for whatever they are being asked for. It doesn’t mean that a leader has the answers to all questions a team may ask. It implies that a leader must be prepared with appropriate resources that assist the team in solving the problem.
If you are working as a leader and aspire to enhance your problem-solving skills, the following practices can help.
- Gathering enough data and experience to provide proper guidance to the team
- Asking questions yourself so that you can lead the teammates toward the right path
- Offering multiple solutions for your team to implement
- Being an active listener to obtain clarity
3) Personal development prioritisation
For leaders, personal development holds great significance when it comes to career growth. Being a leader, you must assess where you exist in your personal development journey and how your personal development positively impacts your organisation.
Prioritising personal development will help you connect with like-minded individuals and conceptualise new ideas for the business’ growth. As a leader, you can strengthen your personal development by taking relevant courses, attending industry-relevant conferences, pursuing senior leadership programs, and collaborating with other departments.
Challenges are an indispensable part of the responsibilities of a leader. A leader is the first person in an organisation to connect with if anything goes unexpected. Being a leader, your responses must be logical rather than emotional or impulsive. You must not feel worried or stressed when handling challenging situations. Developing adaptability in the workplace can be an exceptional tool to quickly respond to inevitable changes.
Becoming more adaptable means, you will feel more comfortable to face the changes. Whenever issues arise, team members will approach you for leadership and guidance. You can cultivate adaptability by learning to embrace change, practising mindfulness, taking risks and moving out of your comfort zone, and enhancing your problem-solving skills.
5) Actively listening
A leader should indulge in more listening activities than speaking. You must meticulously attend to organisational issues and come up with feasible solutions by actively listening to team concerns. Moreover, you must listen to individuals around you to express empathy and respect. Active listening helps to develop effective ideas, with the power to tackle any issue that may come your way.
The following practices can help you as a leader to improve your active listening skills.
- Providing full attention to team members when they approach you for input or feedback
- Asking questions before making a decision
- Use non-verbal cues
- Paraphrasing and clarifying what is said
- Being mentally active in the conversations and staying away from interruptions
Leadership characteristics not only equip individuals with the understanding of how to effectively lead others but also nurture personal growth, communication skills, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. These characteristics are worthwhile to equip whether you aspire to work as a leader in an organisation or enhance your interactions with others.
Pursuing People Leadership & Strategic HR Management helps you become influential leaders and foster strategic initiatives. This 11-month IIM leadership development program is specifically targeted at aspiring business managers and senior HR professionals. It imparts the learners how to develop a winning strategy through strategic HR. The executive leadership program IIM employs a practical approach with simulations from Imarticus Game Studio as well as Simulations on Human Resource Management, enabling them to emerge as versatile entities with impeccable leadership skills.