The Traits of Good Leaders
On average, Americans spend 34.5 hours a week working. If you’re not your own boss, chances are, you have one, which means that your boss has a lot of power in affecting your feelings about your job. A lot of people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. Well, they leave for many reasons that management has control over.
So, what exactly makes a “good boss,” or should we say leader? While bosses manage (and sometimes micromanage) their teams, leaders inspire them. Even though employees differ in what they look for and respect in management, there are certainly ways in which some leaders just get it and are objectively good at what they do.
Here’s a look at a few ways good leaders lead:
1. Their Passion is Palpable
If your leader doesn’t care about their job, why should you? Great leaders show their passion and refrain from complaining in front of their team. Passion is like an engine to a car – it propels it forward. When a leader truly cares about the work that they do, their attitude and actions become contagious to the rest of the team members.
2. They Are Strategic
While some play checkers, good managers play chess, so to speak. They can see their team members and their respective traits above all. They are able to place different people in the roles that best suit their strengths and adjust the workload to accommodate for any weaknesses. They find employees whose skills complement one another. While being able to still see the big picture, the small details are made a point of focus and come together in order to create masterpieces.
3. They Remain Unshaken
In business, as in life, things go wrong. It’s inevitable, but good leaders know how to remain calm in the face of calamity. People react to others’ reactions, so when something goes wrong, a leader who is able to respond rationally keeps the pressure subdued for everyone else. Their team is also likely to react to situations in a similar way, so by setting the tone, it makes everyone more adept to deal with problems when they arise.
4. They Show Feelings
While staying calm in the face of a storm is an important trait, it doesn’t mean that bosses aren’t human and don’t have emotions. When they show their feelings and interact with employees on a human level first, before the boss dynamic enters the relationship, they are creating a comfortable and open line of communication.
5. They Are Humble
Leaders are naturally in a position of power, that’s why they are the “boss.” But, good leaders don’t exert power or make employees feel like they are any different. They share their mistakes and set the tone so that everyone knows ideas are always welcomed. And, even more so, they share their success with the team and give credit where credit is due.
6. They Provide Feedback
A huge part of job satisfaction comes down to having the opportunity to grow and learn new skills. If you’re working for someone, you want them to be able to trust their constructive criticism and find value in their feedback and direction. Great leaders know when and how to provide feedback that motivates rather than hurts an employee.
It Comes Down To…
Leaders aren’t just born, they are made and it takes time to master quality leadership. But, there has been a lot of psychological research to determine the traits of good leaders, and these are the traits that have been found to be common amongst leaders: emotional stability, assertiveness, conscientiousness, self-assurance, compulsiveness, tough-mindedness, and enthusiasm.
Good leaders are typically charismatic, have high energy, trust their intuition, and are empathetic. Whether you’re currently leading a team or aspiring to become a leader one day, keep these ideas in mind when building a team because it could mean all the difference in retaining happy and productive employees.