Leaders are usually quite a bit different than the people around them. They have certain traits that make them stand out above the crowd. Often, these traits may go unnoticed by many. The true leader is able to lead without carrying a heavy stick. Here are five traits of a leader, in no particular order.
Good Leaders Listen
The perfect leader spends a great deal of time listening to those around them. Many bad leaders try to run the show alone, and are unwilling to listen to the ideas of others. A good leader knows when to be quiet and just listen. Ideas can only come to fruition when the leader truly listens to those around them, and they relish the opportunity. They respect and consider the opinions of everyone, and never belittle someone for an idea regardless of whether it fits into the solution.
Good Leaders Ask Questions
The good leader also asks questions before moving forward with a task. Being a know it all is not a sign of a good leader. Leadership means asking questions to understand the job, and then sharing it with everyone else. Through asking questions, the leader helps those working with them to take ownership of the project or problem, and helps them to problem solve. A leader understands that ten minds managing a problem is much better than one, and they value the opinions of others.
Good Leaders Work Hard
A good leader will dive into a task right alongside everyone else. Leadership is based on mutual respect, and a leader can not get that without working hard alongside others. When it comes time to get their hands dirty, a good leader is the first one to dive in. When push comes to shove they motivate others through their actions, and not through their words alone. Leaders are usually the hardest working person in the group.
Good Leaders Compromise
A good leader can recognize those opportunities to compromise with someone in order to raise morale. They will not try to run the entire show, and instead will pick their battles carefully. They reserve the word “no” for those times when it is critical and compromise when it is not a big deal. There is no harm in allowing simple concessions that can still lead to the best solution in the end. A good leader will know when to compromise, and do so with pleasure.
Good Leaders Finish What They Start
A good leader will always finish the job. They will not shirk responsibility and will make sure that those working under them do the same. They are tireless and driven to do the right thing, and they inspire the same thing in those people that work for them. Leadership is a state of mind, and a good leader will help others become good leaders as well.