If you had to ask anyone what a true leader looks like, most people would respond by saying that it is a person who is able to gather individuals to act together to perform a task well. Included in this definition is the fact that the individuals learn at the same time and that the leader brings out the best of them while nurturing growth in the individual, the team, and the company.

What is leadership?

Leadership, in a nutshell, is related to the guidance of a person or a team in order to achieve results or learn how to perform something correctly. A leader could be a mentor, an executive, or an advisor in any industry or field. Generally, the best results are achieved when a person leads with encouragement and affirmation rather than negative pressure and unhelpful criticism.

What are the qualities of leadership?

No matter how affirmative a leader is, there is still room to develop the skills needed to lead well. These skills go hand-in-hand with the qualities most suited to leadership.

Honesty

When you are leading a team or an individual, they need to be able to trust what you say. If you are always honest with them, that trust will be built quickly on a solid foundation. If your team sees that they can trust you, they will want to follow your leadership and will respect your integrity by displaying value in their work. It also means that they will appreciate any encouragement because they will know that it is sincere.

Communicative

Being able to communicate a message clearly is a fundamental skill that any leader needs to have. Communication is well suited to an honest leader and an excellent leader knows how – and when – to say something.

Communication is not only important for keeping updated with a task, but it is vital in casting the vision of the project. A good leader understands that it is important to say how a team should be doing something; as well as addressing the why of the work.

Decisive

Nothing is more difficult to follow than a plan which might change before the work is complete. This is not to say that plans cannot be changed, because that is also dangerous to the success of a task or work.

If there is a pattern of decision-changing, a team cannot trust that the plan will be followed to the end and the individuals will not give their best work knowing that it might not be used at all.

If you are able to make clear and concise decisions and stand by them to completion, you will display confidence and your team will be more likely to follow you. If the plan doesn’t work out as expected; that’s fine, it means that you will have learnt from it and know what to do – and what not to do – the next time.

Encouraging

A good leader is able to encourage their team so that they can believe anything is possible. Showing affirmation to an individual could give them just what they need for motivation to complete a project or to inspire them to enjoy the work they are doing.

Encouragement could be shown through small acts such as providing an office breakfast on a Friday, a complement of work well done, or through a friendly motivational email. Any encouragement generally inspires a team and allows them a chance to do their best work for the company.

Developing leadership skills

Using the skills of leadership is the first step to hone and build them. If you can display the leadership qualities in day-to-day running, you will see an improvement in the areas quickly. For example, if you actively look to encourage someone every day, it will become easy to find the way to motivate someone on your team.

It is also worth doing a short course to gain business and management leadership skills. This will give you a deeper insight into developing and improving the qualities you need to lead a team well. It also offers an understanding into practical aspects in leadership in business, related to the role of marketing and the financial concepts of business.

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