All leaders want to be great, but sometimes the better word choice is simply good. You focus on the good you can do for your team, customers and the world at large. Yes, leaders direct and teach, but they also learn. You aim to create impact and change within the organization, invest in your team and remain accountable. Here are the 10 most important skill-sets that all good leaders possess and demonstrate to their team.
1. Support Success
Leadership does not focus on the acquisition of power by conquering and dividing. Real power, that of empowerment, lies in supporting the success of others. This driving philosophy allows good leaders to collaborate with their team because that’s where the success of the company derives.
What makes a team successful? It’s not the leadership or who is on the team. One study found that trust was the most important element among team members, the knowledge that they work well together and felt safe to take risks.
2. Invest in Your Team
Your team relies on your support as a vital asset, the most important. Serve your team. Appreciate them and give them growth opportunities.
Give them space and respect. In one survey of over 20,000 employees around the world, respect ranked No. 1 as the most important leadership behavior. Employees value owed respect demonstrated through universal civility and earned respect honoring good work and expressing empathy. Get to know each other to build a positive and productive work culture.
3. Be a Whistle Blower
You’re a leader, not a therapist or HR. While that’s true, you lead by example and must remain aware of the temperature of your team and their exchanges, from a conversational misunderstanding to leaked data. Be a whistle blower and nip trouble in the bud before it expands exponentially out of control. Address dysfunction with clear and consistent policies, as well as objectivity.
4. Impact Change
Do you know where and how your role makes an impact? What actions do you perform daily that generate this impact? Do employees find meaning in their roles and duties? How does the feedback work between your position and the roles of your employees?
Understand these questions and you will rise to the occasion to impart lasting and empowering change. Don’t maintain the status quo, especially when it harms your team.
5. Keep Learning
Keep learning instead of trying to keep up with your competitors. Yes, the marketplace is built on competition and hard work, but your currency exchange lies in continuous education. Cultivate an eagerness and passion for tinkering with ideas. That means you need to keep learning, too.
In order of importance, one study found that the three most vital skills for lifelong learning in the office included critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, and communication. While industry-specific and functional knowledge helps employees fulfill their duties, these areas are important to maintain high levels of performance, engagement, growth and success.
6. Don’t Isolate
They say it’s lonely at the top, and those leaders and game-changers don’t lie. That doesn’t mean you should be lonely. Instead, you should make yourself accessible and accountable to benefit your team on all levels. Connection matters as much as production and function. Keep up with your team regularly.
7. Actions Express Conviction
Who are you as a leader? What are your convictions and values? Your actions express that conviction and establish your values to the team. You must let others know where you stand. Your conviction and values as a leader should take root in the mission of the company, but they remain uniquely yours.
8. Leaders Are Also Accountable
With all your convictions and values, do you hold yourself accountable, or do you sweep mistakes and worries under the corporate rug? Let your team hold you accountable as a leader, too. Accountability must remain consistent on every level.
9. Character Engages
The conviction and values of the company, leaders and team all matter and form an active structure to propel the brand toward success. However, character matters most to leadership positions because it focuses on engagement, aligning your beliefs, actions and words.
10. Teach Others to Lead
Do you rely on intimidation, fear and power? That makes you a bully, not a leader.
True leaders nurture and mentor their team, recognizing the power of directing and connecting. You have to let the team steer the ship sometimes. This allows you to see the talent your team brings to the table and reward them in return for their achievements on behalf of the company.
Want to be a good leader? Trust in these 10 traits, from supporting success to teaching others to lead. You get more out of your team and leadership skills when you balance hard and soft skills and direction with connection.
The views of the author of this article do not necessarily represent the views of Gradifi. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained here. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax or financial advisors to understand the tax, financial and legal consequences of any strategies mentioned in this article.