For starters let’s break down the definition of leader and leadership.
Definition of Leader:
An individual who clearly vocalizes then manifests goals, missions and visions that allows others to participate and share in the task completing process.
Definition of Leadership:
Leadership is the mindset, personification and channeled energy of a vision. The leaders inclusive state of mind includes gathering the spirits of diverse individuals to collaborate joint efforts as a team.
In order to lead successfully, there are ten key traits that an optimal leader should possess within their characteristic which are:
Often a very overlooked but essential quality to possess as a leader. It is essential that you tap into your own humanness to remain humble. You achieve humility as a leader by using high self-awareness and admission if you don’t know about a topic. Genuine connections and trustworthiness are easily formed with others because you can put yourself in their shoes and relate to their thoughts and feelings as a fellow human being.
2) Clear Communication
There can be so much noise that is created when trying to communicate an idea, a subject, a goal, or a vision. Quality communication rids itself of filler word such as: um, like, I guess, well, ah, you know. A leader’s information sounds more confident and sophisticated when it is concise with all important factors are briefly included. A message that is long and lengthy is not an optimal way to communicate because the receiver gets slowed down by the filler words.
3) Creative Problem Solving
Leadership excels when its leader has the ability to come up with more creative solutions to solve the problems that arise in life. The key to reaching a long-term solution as a strong leader is to use the collaboration method when problem solving to meet the needs of all involved members/parties.
4) Self- Confidence
The more obvious trait that we associate with a leader is their high level of confidence. What insecurity? They make no room for lasting self-doubt and pessimism; those are just passing thoughts. Leaders role-model a healthy dose of confidence within themselves to convince their followers that their abilities, intelligence, decisions and actions are the right way.
5) Active Listener
Actively listening to the needs of another human being is the difference between average leadership versus an outstanding one. This is a soft skill that builds authentic connections with those on your team because there is healthy two-way communication embedded into the relationship. Your followers are more likely to share their genuine ideas and provide honest feedback.
Their enjoyment of efficiency prompts their high effort behaviours. It’s very common to see a focus of achievement, maximum energy, and strong initiative being exerted while participating in activities. This trait is the kindling to their fire of success. Your drive is an internal characteristic that stems from your “why”. The “why” is the motivation to keep moving forward through the flaws and all of situations, regardless of their outcomes.
The fastest way for a leader to build genuine personal rapport with their team is by being interested in knowing about the lives of those around you. Humbled leaders are curious and will care about those they work closely with. An emphatic leader will ask teammates about their lives, life difficulties, goals/dreams and family. These conversational opportunities open up the possibility of establishing deeper personal connections.
An optimal leader is unafraid of showing vulnerability and will strategically demonstrate the ability to take responsibility and open up as a real-time learning opportunity which inspires others to do the same.
For example: You might not be feeling like yourself and although you have a responsibility to show up for a presentation (for example), you opened-up to your superior and let them know about your struggles that day. You also have a back-up presenter as a solution to cover for your absence.
9) Strategic Thinking
Solving simple problems is something that is usually left up to the team to resolve on their own without guidance from superiors. Leaders of teams however are called upon to resolve complex problems that require deeper critical thinking skills that aid in the planning the organizations future. Strong leaders not only know the essential skills needed to achieve their business objectives, navigate through the trials and tribulations of business, address challenges (current or pending- especially if the challenge is expected to take days, weeks, months or years to complete).
They have an overwhelmingly strong urge to use their knowledge, skills, abilities and other competencies to influence and lead others. The behaviour of the leader must inspire others to act with the same mannerisms. To become a transformational leader one must communicate clearly, stand with integrity, advocate for inclusivity, and be receptive to employee needs. Remember that inspiration grows from fostering the human side of life. People need to know that their leader truly cares about them.
These ten traits are skills that we can all benefit from learning. What matters most is your eagerness to learn new things and apply them into real life situations. To be a leader of a community takes transparency, quick thinking, genuine connection and solution-oriented thinking to lead people. Are you ready to lead others?
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- Your Girl, Articulate Tee