With the dawn of a new year upon us, many leaders want to learn how they can step up in their workplaces and evolve as leaders.
As someone who’s spent many years working with, teaching, and coaching leaders, I’ve had the unique opportunity to observe common themes and trends among leaders who are highly effective, highly productive, and who get the best from the people they work with. They shine in the workplace, maximise their results, and consistently move their business/company forward to achieve great things.
Below are 7 of the most common character traits of such leaders:
1. They are confident.
Strong leaders believe in themselves and in their ability to make a real difference in the workplace. To this end, they focus on what they do well rather than what they struggle with, which naturally improves their level of confidence. In addition, they commit to learning and growing themselves regularly. Research shows that continuously building your skills enhances your sense of self confidence and competence—both things that strong leaders show in the workplace.
2. They develop great relationships.
Strong leaders value great relationships. They’re all about making connections. They are inclusive, collaborative and highly effective as team players. Usually having wide and highly developed networks, they are always looking to add value to people’s lives. They are warm, friendly, and genuinely interested in people. They also are regularly improving the communication, cooperation, and trust among their team members. If there are any conflicts, strong leaders always try to resolve them quickly and amicably.
3. They invest in their people.
In addition to developing relationships with others, great leaders also invest in each member of their team. They love growing their people. As a result, this allows them to excel as excellent supporters, coaches, mentors, and encouragers. They are insightful, great listeners, and ask valuable questions to help people solve their own problems. They regularly look for ways to connect their people with the right resources and training that will help them to up-level their skills and reach new milestones.
4. They are high achievers.
It should be no surprise that great leaders are also high achievers. They tend to be clear about their vision, the overall big picture, and how to get there. They’re gifted as self-starters, planners, and problem solvers and more often than not are highly capable as conceptual and analytical thinkers. As a result of their ambition, they naturally lead by example and motivate others to achieve workplace goals.
5. They acknowledge failure.
But sometimes those goals aren’t always achieved—and that’s okay. Strong leaders understand how to use failures or setbacks as learning opportunities. After all, they recognise that failure is simply a part of the innovation process. If you’re failing, it’s because you’re trying…and that’s better than not doing anything at all. Because they’re comfortable with acknowledging failures, their teams therefore become comfortable as well, which frees them up to continue innovating instead of remaining paralysed with the fear of failure.
6. They listen to their team.
Great leaders know that leadership is seldom a solo act. They involve their team members in many important decisions in order to move the company forward. Again, they excel as great listeners. They ask for input from their team and regularly ask questions to understand the thought processes of others. This not only allows them to receive valuable insights but also creates a climate that encourages healthy dialogue.
7. They create solutions.
Effective leaders are change oriented and are always looking for new and innovative ways to do things. They are curious about life and approach new ideas and experiences with an open mind. They don’t dwell on problems but instead move immediately into defining potential solutions. They also rely on their team to offer up solutions as well—thoughtfully drawing out new insights and ideas. They understand that if they’re the first to offer a solution, it will often inhibit other ideas, so they instead create an engaging dialogue with their team members so that the team can innovate together.
These are just 7 of the common traits among highly effective leaders, but they’re ones you’ll see again and again across the board when examining the work ethics and management styles of some of the best leaders out there.
Begin to integrate these traits into your own leadership style, and you’ll find yourself becoming more and more effective this year, which will allow your team to grow and your company to thrive.