There is always a leader in every group. While, sometimes, this post is designated, at other times the role is simply assumed. In any case, a leader must have certain effective qualities to establish his/her authority. Good leadership depends on the characteristics or qualities inherent to the person in the position of authority. It is not very difficult to acquire these characteristics if you keep two things as priorities — the goal and the team. Based on these priorities, leaders are divided into two categories, viz. task-oriented leaders and people-oriented leaders. Task oriented leaders give more importance to the task or the goal that needs to be reached— even more than the team members who are working for it. Whereas, with people-oriented leaders, the situation is opposite — they value team before deadlines. Whichever is the case, there are some characteristics that all leaders must have to create a team that is ambitious and loves working towards the ultimate goal. Listed below are some of these essential characteristics of a leader. Read on to know more.
Key Traits Of A Leader
If the leader’s instructions are not taken seriously, it can lead to major problems. That is why, when it comes to getting work done, a leader must be assertive and not aggressive while dealing with the team members. The results are much better and the chances of being taken for granted by the team members are minimized.
Clarity of thought and speech is a very important characteristic of a leader. When you are talking to your team, you should be clear about the task, its nature, the deadline and what is expected out of the team.
It is much better if leaders are creative. This creativity helps them deal with the team in more innovative ways. Hence, creativity of the leader, and his/her efforts to encourage creativity among the team members, brings about an air of excitement at the workplace. This is the kind of atmosphere where team members look forward to working towards the goal, and the ‘job satisfaction’ scale is much higher.
Leader is the hope of team members — everyone looks up to the leaders for directions and a pessimistic leader can be the doom of the entire team. Hence, optimism is a crucial managerial trait.
Anger can hinder a leader from reaching out to the teammates. Although at times strictness is required, it is important for the leader to stay cool at all times so that no hard feelings are created in the team. Therefore, even when the team needs to be handled with a little harshness, the words must be very controlled and aptly used.
An unorganized leader can lead the entire team into major chaos and cause overshooting of deadlines on a very regular basis. Therefore, every leader needs to learn the skill of being organized at all levels.
A leader should know everything that is going on in the team. This, however, does not mean that you have to spy on your team-members. However, in a general sense, a leader should be at good terms with the teammates. This, in turn, helps the leader stay aware of what is really going on at the other end. There are many times when a leader has to make decisions about people depending on their performance, hence, it is important to know them well to avoid unfair decisions.
The person who sets the standards for the team is the leader. Hence, he/she needs to be ambitious. An ambitious leader, also called a visionary, can take the team to great heights. However, one must not overstep the thin line between being ambitious and over-ambitious.
Good Communication Skills
It is a popular fact that good communication skills are important for being a leader. Clear and precise communication is very important to get things done. Also, good communication is a key factor to keep the team together. Another thing that comes with good communication is being a good orator. Remember, at times only a motivational speech from the leader can get the ball rolling for the team!
A leader has to be fair in his distribution of work to the teammates. This distribution should be in accordance to their potential. After all, everybody dreads a biased team leader.
A leader is responsible for the wellbeing of the team. He is the caretaker everyone counts on. A leader is therefore, the person who can make or break the team. Hope that the aforementioned points will be of some help in your journey to become a good leader.