Some people are just born with the distinctive qualities of a leader. You know the type – the natural person rallying the troops, setting an example, and getting things done. But even if you’re not one of those lucky few, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to develop and hone your leadership skills. We will share some tips on becoming a better leader, regardless of your experience or background. Read on to learn more.
Leader vs. Boss: The Difference
The first step to becoming an excellent leader is understanding the critical difference between a boss and a leader. A boss gives out instructions and expects employees to follow them. On the other hand, a leader instills excitement and encourages team members to participate. Leaders see themselves as servants of their team, not someone above them. As a result, they tend to be more successful than bosses.
Before exploring some of the critical qualities of successful leaders, let’s understand the role a relevant degree plays in teaching you leadership qualities.
According to the University of Michigan, having a degree in business or administration is one of the most consistent predictors of successful leadership. The study also shows that leaders with degrees are also favored by their followers and peers.
If you believe that a bachelor’s degree is the only thing preventing you from winning people over in the business world, consider enrolling in an MEd Educational Leadership online program to help you master the abilities necessary to lead effectively in any area.
Now that we know why having a degree is so vital, let’s unpack some common qualities of great leaders.
Qualities of Successful Leaders
Leadership cannot be taught in a classroom or read about in a book – it must be learned through experience. However, there are some essential qualities that all successful leaders share. These include:
Integrity: Leaders must be honest and ethical in their actions. They need to be trusted by their team, and they must always uphold the values of the company or organization they are leading.
Communication Skills: Communicating effectively with your team, superiors, and other stakeholders is critical to effective leadership. It includes being able to articulate goals and objectives clearly, as well as listening attentively to others’ ideas.
Emotional Intelligence: Emotionally intelligent leaders can keep their cool when things get tough and handle their emotions effectively. They understand the power of emotion and use it to motivate people instead of intimidating them. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can read people’s moods and respond accordingly, making them better able to handle difficult conversations and negotiations.
Problem Solving Skills: Leaders need to identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently.
Decision-Making Skills: Leaders need to quickly and confidently make decisions, even when faced with difficult choices.
Organizational Skills: Leaders need to keep track of multiple tasks and priorities and delegate responsibilities effectively.
Confidence: Leaders need to project a sense of confidence and assurance, which will inspire their team to believe in themselves and the goal or objective at hand.
Vision: Leaders must have a clear vision for where they want their team or organization to go. They must articulate this vision and get others on board with it.
Ethics: Leaders must always act with integrity and adhere to ethical principles.
Excelling the Skills
Some people are born with these skills, while others need to develop them. However, all managers can improve their leadership skills by following these simple tips:
Start with the End in Mind: When setting goals or objectives, always think about how they will benefit the team or organization as a whole.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help: Leaders are not expected to know everything and should be willing to seek advice from others when needed.
Be Open to Change: Leaders must adapt quickly to changes in the workplace or situation.
Lead by Example: Set a great example and display what you expect of the team through actions.
Humility is Key: Excellent leaders know their strengths and weaknesses and admit when they are wrong.
Stay Positive: Leaders must maintain a positive attitude, even in difficult situations, and remain focused on the goal at hand.
Learn to Thrive Under Pressure: Leaders often have to make decisions in difficult situations and under pressure.
Delegate when Necessary: Leaders should delegate tasks to others when needed to focus on the bigger picture.
Be Assertive: Leaders need to communicate their ideas and vision clearly to those around them and stand up for what they believe in.
Listen Actively: Leaders must be good listeners to understand the needs of their team and employees.
Take Time for Self-Reflection: A leader who takes time for self-reflection can improve upon their weaknesses and continue growing as a leader.
Invest in Others: Leaders should invest in their employees and help them grow both professionally and personally.
You must also consider:
- Reading books and articles on leadership
- Attending workshops and seminars on leadership
- Networking with other leaders
In today’s business world, managers need to have excellent leadership qualities. Leaders need to motivate and inspire those around them, delegate tasks effectively, and make tough decisions when needed. However, not all managers possess these traits. Some hinder their growth by being too rigid or failing to listen.