Skills to Make You a Better Leader

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Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

Since you began working, you’ve probably had good leaders and not-so-good leaders. But have you ever taken the time to figure out what made them such a great leader? What qualities did they possess that you liked and thought were beneficial in their role?

Throughout the years, many studies have been done to try and determine what qualities a good leader has, and these studies have found some common denominators. 

  • Leaders do more than just manage: There’s another quote by Peter Drucker that says, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” And when you stop to think about this quote, you know that it says a whole lot. A leader does the right thing and sets a good example for those he works with.
  • Leaders are strong communicators: Communication is key to be considered a great leader. Leaders need to keep co-workers in the loop and communicate what needs to be done. Expectations need to be clear, and everyone should know that what is said is what’s going to happen.
  • Leaders use active listening skills: A great leader uses active listening skills. When co-workers come to speak with a leader, they want to know that they’re being heard. Leaders will give their full attention to the speaker and use active listening during the conversation.
  • Leaders set goals: While leaders often set goals for their employees, a good leader will also have goals for him or herself. This helps to keep them on track and improve themselves and the business.
  • Leaders are candid but diplomatic: You definitely don’t want a leader that is going to beat around the bush in hopes that you can figure out what he/she is trying to say. Instead, being candid is the best route. While conversations may not always be easy, when candidness is paired with diplomacy, leaders have a winning combination.
  • Leaders know how to resolve conflict: Conflicts happen in the workplace, whether it be with co-workers or managers. Leaders are expected to know how to deal with it and bring it to a satisfactory resolution. Different strategies may be needed in order to work things out but count on a good leader to know what to do.
  • Leaders are motivators: There should be no lack of motivation when you have a good leader at the head of the team.
  • Leaders aren’t afraid to make decisions: Being a good leader means that sometimes you need to make the hard decisions. And, while not all decisions may be the correct one, there is a motto that says, “An error in judgment is better than an error in execution.”
  • Leaders are role models: A good leader should be someone you look up to as a role model. You should be able to see their strong work ethic and know that they’re continually striving to do the right thing by the job and their employees.
  • Leaders show passion: You definitely want a leader who feels passionate about their job and the people they work with.
  • Leaders offer recognition: A great leader is not afraid to recognize those on the team who are significant contributors. They may do this in all sorts of ways, from a simple email to the sharing of recognition in a group meeting.
  • Leaders encourage change when needed: Change is sometimes difficult, but a leader will encourage change and take the lead if needed. 
  • Leaders have a positive attitude: A positive attitude goes a long way in the workplace. Leaders will display a positive attitude for all to see.

If you are striving to be a better leader in your workplace, whether you hold a management role or not, keep these things in mind. They will go a long way to make you stand out as an exemplary employee.

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