14 Powerful Leadership Traits

14 Powerful Leadership Traits
From Lifehack - February 27, 2018

Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating positionbut it can also be tremendously rewarding.

Whether youre just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, youll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.

Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of manager or boss. Theyve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).

It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.

As we delve into the traits of effective leaders, you will learn more about how you can become one of them.

Are leaders born or made?

During the Cuban missile crisis, when the world faced a potential nuclear catastrophe. President Kennedy s leadership and sound judgement pulled us from the brink of an apocalypse.1 When hearing about such stories its easy to assume great leaders like Kennedy has something that most people lack, that great leadership is a quality that some people are born with, and others are not. But that isnt the case. Everyone has the potential to be a great leader.

Take Elon Musk for example. He was born into a lower middle class family in South Africa, as a child he was bullied. Now he leads a multi billion dollar organisation, and may have just revolutionized space travel.2

As such I believe anyone can become a great leader, the difficulty is knowing how.

Fortunately, weve made this easy for you, as weve listed the essential leadership traits below.

The 14 most important leadership traits

Please read through them slowly, and take a note of which of the traits you excel atand which ones you need to work at.

Traits for better self-development

1. Vision and mission

Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.

This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:

How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Heres a complete guide on creating your own vision.

2. Self-motivated

Its no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.

Without a decent level of self-motivation, youll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you dont have a lot of self-motivation right now, dont despair.

One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.

3. Optimism and positivity

Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.

Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Learn the habits of positive people here.

4. Emotional stability

In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They cant allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.

If youre prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Find out more ways to control your emotions effectively here.

5. Self-confidence

Watch a presentation by any CEO and youll see that even if theyre not natural presentersthey make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.

Its not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.

Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you act at being confident, youll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time you will be. Learn more about boosting self-confidence from the confidence coach.

6. Decisiveness

Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.

Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and youll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when theyre asked to decide on something.

Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisionsand then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, theyll automatically see you as leadership material. Check out the guide on how to make good decisions every time.

7. Passion and enthusiasm

Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.

Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. Its this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.

8. Accountability and responsibility

9. Focus

10. Ever-learning

11. Empathy

12. Persuasive and influential

Traits for ensuring an engaging team

13. Team building

14. Fostering creativity


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