7 Characteristics of a Leader

Leadership is a role that requires responsibility amongst many other traits, some of which can take years to develop, others are simply within the leader’s nature. In a variation of industries and teams, a leader of some form will be present. Whether it is a professional work force, sports club, or recreational club, there tends to be at least one person in charge of a specific task or set of tasks. Here, 7 characteristics have been identified as fundamentals to becoming a successful leader.

  • Empathy: Being able to see and understand the perspectives of those around you will help you gain their trust. A team that does not trust their leader could result in rebellious attitudes or rifts between the group which is bad for productivity. People management skills are essential.
  • Consistency: ‘One rule for one and another rule for another’ is inconsistent and will not work when managing a team. Whilst you must be empathetic to the individual, you must be fair to the team, the rules, and to yourself. Consistency also refers to your own performance in your role.
  • Open minded: Whilst consistency is important in addressing issues fairly, you must also approach issues with an open mind as to what the outcome could be. Finding a balance between the two can be difficult; the best leaders are able to distinguish when it is appropriate to be flexible and when not to be.
  • Honesty: This doesn’t mean that you should publicise every opinion you have. It refers more to occasions when an issue affects performance, relationships, or mood of your team. Being able to articulate the issue with an individual or group of people without dishonesty shows credibility and confidence as a leader.
  • Communication: Honesty expands further into having the ability to express concisely your expectations, worries, visions, and strategies. Regular updates with your team whether it is related to your line of work or not can help them feel integrated. This includes informal conversation too.
  • Vision: Having an end goal is essential. How can a leader lead if there is nothing to lead your team to? This will make it easier to set expectations for your team and for yourself.
  • Assertiveness and Conviction: Believing in yourself, your team, and your goal will subconsciously boost the morale and character of your team. If you aren’t confident in yourself, how do you expect your team to be confident in you?

These are just some of the qualities a leader can be expected to have. As a leader yourself you may possess a few or all these skills but still be fantastic at what you do. This is because some lead by example, others lead through communication and others through one to one management. Whichever system benefits the performance and the goal of your teams is the method you should choose.

However, for specialised coaching in leadership and people management, Anne Taylor at Directions Coaching has plenty of expertise in offering personalised executive leadership coaching in London. To get in contact with Anne for enquiries or to book a session, please call 02031 516 830 or email info@directions-coaching.com.