What Makes A Leader?
Soft SkillsLeadership

What Makes A Leader?

Elaine Leen|3 min read|11 March

At the moment, many teams will be looking to and relying on their managers and employers to lead the way during these uncertain times. But what makes a good leader? In this article, we’ll be looking at what traits the best leaders have in common, and what skills you could be tapping into to provide the best leadership for your team.

The one skill  all the best leaders have in common is a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Did you know that having emotional intelligence as a leader is twice as important as technical skills or the level of your IQ? This is because leaders that can see and understand themselves are more likely to be able to see their companies and employees clearly. Leaders who control their feelings create an atmosphere of fairness and trust helping their employees and team members to believe in their ability to lead them effectively.

Effective leaders have excellent decision-making skills.

Leaders need to be able to solve problems and make good decisions and often the two go hand in hand. An effective leader uses a practical and responsive approach to making a decision allowing them to:

  • Understand there is no such thing as making a perfect decision
  • Be confident to know what needs to be done at the moment
  • Quicky evaluate situations and be able to make decisions that will result in the highest probability of success
  • Make decisions under pressure

To be an effective leader, you must be able to think critically.

We all have emotions, and it is rare than we can be completely objective or rational when making a decision and effective leaders understand this. That is why critical thinking is a crucial skill in an effective leader as this enables them to question every stage of their thinking process when making a decision.

Effective leaders aren’t just problem solvers; they are problem finders.

Being an effective leader isn’t all about problem-solving; it is about being able to foresee problems and recognize potential issues before they become too significant. Being able to find the problems in this way allows them more time to find a solution. Problem finding skills come from the ability to ask the right question, which comes with practice and experience!

An effective leader finds opportunity and positivity in all situations.

As a leader, your team look to you to set the standard and tone, and that is why you must always be looking to progress, improve and move forward. Successful leaders find opportunities and understand how to use them effectively by diversifying or using critical thinking skills.

To be an effective leader, you must lead by example and be authentic.

One of the essential qualities to have as a leader is that you lead by example and that’s why you must allow people to understand the values that you are committed to uphold and lay the foundations for the standard you expect from your team.

Leadership is a skill that comes with time and experience. It is a skill however, that can be learned! Do you feel you possess all the qualities above? Which do you think you may need to work on to serve your team better and be an effective leader?

Effective leaders aren’t just problem solvers; they are problem finders.

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