What makes a great leader?
That’s something we spend a lot of time thinking about. Truth is, no one has found the secret formula that will guarantee that you’ll be a great leader. It simply doesn’t work that way.
However, by studying already known great leaders, you may be able to identify common traits. If these traits are common, then perhaps they’re part of the reason why great leaders are so, well, great. And perhaps by adapting and emulating these traits, you can become a great leader yourself.
So, let’s take a peek at five traits that might lead to you being a better, we dare say even great, leader.
A leader is in charge. They’re the boss. They often have the final say. But you know what? Great leaders are also humble leaders, they know how to interact with people from all walks of life. A great leader will feel as comfortable and humble interacting with a janitor as they will with the board of directors.
An important quality not to overlook here is empathy. A great leader must be empathetic and able to put themselves in other’s shoes. And once there, a great leader will realize that everyone deserves respect and sympathy.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how far you rise as a leader, you should always treat others around you as equals.
Leaders Take Responsibility but Share Credit
The buck always stops with the leader. If a project fails, at the end of the day, the person who is in charge will shoulder the blame. After all, had said leader made different choices, say removing this employee or promoting that one, the project might have been a success.
On the other hand, when a project is a success, a wise leader will share that success. A great leader will recognize everyone that chipped in and will value contributions big and small. By sharing credit, a wise leader will create a rewarding and inclusive environment.
When a leader takes the blame, they’re showing that they are strong. On the other hand, when a leader shares credit, they demonstrate that they are generous. You should learn new skills that will make you more successful both as a person and as a leader.
Great Leaders Don’t Have All the Answers
Does it sometimes seem like great leaders have all the answers, that they know every solution? Guess what, they don’t. Every wise leader knows that they can’t know everything. Unexpected problems will always arise, and new challenges will always emerge. And no matter how smart they are, the great leader knows they won’t always have the answer.
Instead, great leaders learn to expect the unexpected. They develop plans to deal with these new challenges and learn to rely on experts as well.
Work Hard, Relax Hard
Great leaders know that elbow grease and sweat go a long way towards success. It’s hard to achieve much without hard work.
Sure, starting in a good place makes a difference. Let’s say you have a lot of funding for your startup. This can have a big impact on your chances of success. However, without commitment and hard work, no amount of funding would ensure success.
At the same time, leaders know that they need to take some time off and relax. And they know that downtime has to be taken as seriously as work. You need to set aside time to recharge. If you don’t, you’ll burn out. That’s why great leaders “relax hard.” When they are off the clock, they are off the clock.
Great Leaders Build Personal and Professional Teams
No person is an island. No one can accomplish everything on their own. A great leader will recognize that it takes a team to accomplish big, ambitious projects. And great leaders work hard to assemble those teams.
This includes both professional and personal teams. You need a team at work that you can rely on to see projections through to completion and success. High-level leaders will need multiple teams. And in your personal life, you should have a network of people who can support you along the way.
So put the above tips into practice and start your march towards success.