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10 Leadership Qualities that Make You a Good Leader

Published August 8, 2022 (last updated on February 27, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

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What makes a good leader? What are the ideal leadership qualities? Is it something that one is born with, or can leadership skills be acquired over time? Research suggests that people can develop qualities of a good leader with time, learning and experience.  

Before we look at qualities of a good leader, let’s understand what defines leadership.

What is Leadership?

It is a time of change and crisis for several industries and businesses. Employers are facing staff shortages, burnout, and rising costs. This is causing them to act under pressure, thus failing to foster a sense of trust and loyalty in their staff. This doesn’t have to be the norm. Business owners and employers who can display leadership skills can inspire and motivate their teams to be productive and happy.

Good Leadership Qualities

Effective leaders understand that they often must lead by example. Consequently, their traits and characteristics are vital in setting the tone for the team. If you are a small business owner and employer, then your employees look up to you to set the standard. Below are some qualities that make a good leader:

  • Integrity- Doing what is right isn’t easy. Great leaders choose to do the right thing, despite the cost. They always put others first and accept blame when things go wrong. They also ensure credit where credit is due. Leaders with integrity can create trust and motivation among employees.

  • Communication- Poor communication can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and significantly impact the mental health of your employees. Among several leadership skills, communication is extremely important. If a leader is a poor communicator, they can be perceived as weak or untrustworthy.

  • Enthusiasm- It can be difficult to motivate employees if the leader is not motivated. Enthusiasm about the business, the job, the people, and the customers is what drives great leaders. They act as cheerleaders, willing to tackle problems and look for solutions. Enthusiastic leaders are passionate, and that passion is inspiring to staff and team members.  

  • Decisiveness- Decisiveness is what several people consider as one of the key leadership qualities. Good leaders are decisive, knowing all the risks and liabilities of decision making. They evaluate all the possible outcomes without feeling overwhelmed. They take decisions that benefit the business and the employees in the long run.

  • Empathy- Leadership is about the people. Great leaders have empathy as they know that the business is run by people. They accurately understand that their employees have issues and concerns. They are willing to listen and support them.

  • Self-awareness- You can’t have the skills of a good leader if you have no self-awareness. Understanding your strengths and weakness is crucial as it allows you to engage truthfully. A good leader is self-aware and knows how they present themselves to their employees.

  • Honesty- If you want your staff to stay loyal to the business, then you need to be honest. What do you expect them to achieve? Are their any concerns you may have? Good leaders are honest and pragmatic.

  • Resilience- Running a business and company demands resilience. There will be ups and downs and it is the job of a leader to be resilient.  Are you willing to show spirit? Good leaders display these traits and allow their resilience to motivate their employees.

  • Confidence- Confident leaders make their team feel confident. They can sense when their employees are having a crisis of confidence and uplift them.

  • Humility- Great leaders don’t need applause or credit. They are focused on their goals and their people. Humility is essential to them.

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Qualities of a Bad Leader

Bad leaders can impact your business basically creating a negative work environment. What are some of the qualities of a bad leader?

  • Poor communication- A leader who is unable to communicate clearly is seen as weak minded or unable to take decisions. Poor communicators can end up costing the business money as they make the staff feel unsure and can cause delays or mix-ups.

  • Unpredictable- Creating a routine and predictability creates trust and security among your employees. Unpredictable leaders put everyone on edge, causing miscommunication and toxic work environments.

  • Lacks Flexibility- Rigid leaders who refuse to be flexible or considerate can make their employees feel unappreciated.

  •  Poor conflict resolution skills- Chances are as a leader you will have to resolve conflict. Bad leaders are indecisive and unable to resolve conflict efficiently.

  • Lack of strategic thinking- Bad leaders make decisions spontaneously, without any strategy or vision. A lack of strategic thinking suggests that the business and its plans are reactionary. This can mean stunted growth, stress, and cause uncertainty among employees.

How to train employees to become better leaders?

Understanding leadership qualities is not enough, you should also use them to train your employees to become better leaders. If you run a small business, training your employees to become good leaders can be of value.

  • Provide a mentor- If you believe your employee has the potential, you should provide a mentor or mentor them if possible. This mentorship should enable them to learn, grow and understand what it takes to be a leader.

  • Offer feedback- Be honest with them. Offer them constructive and specific feedback. This feedback should be helpful and direct them at things they can change. You can schedule regular one-on-one sessions to provide them with feedback.

  • Provide Training- Help them learn by offering training, seminars, or workshops. If your business has the capability, you can let them sign up for a course that develops their leadership qualities.

Good leaders can make the difference between a successful, sustainable business, and a failing one. Good leadership is about understanding when you need to ask for help from other leaders such as Employsure. Employsure has worked with thousands of business owners to build their policies and contracts and support them with employment relations.

Call our 24/7 FREE Advice line today for further information.

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