Leadership (Part ten)

Being a leader is one of most difficult AND rewarding positions in the world.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an industry veteran, knowing which traits effective leaders should have is an integral part of your success. It is not just about knowing the traits but practising them every minute of the day. Let us look at six more leadership personality traits;

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. If you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.

Decisiveness- Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions. 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 you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.

Adaptation- Change in the business environment is constant and among the leadership qualities adaptation is of utmost importance. The ability to perceive change, manage them and helping others adapt as well, is a leadership strength vital for your company’s well-being. Leadership personality skills also include implementing those changes smoothly without disturbing the organization’s balances and overcoming resistance to a much-needed change.

Honesty- Among the characteristics of a leader, we find that being true to yourself and others is important to lead. Honesty is a key leadership skill because it allows a person to quickly gain the trust of their peers and subordinates. Gaining trust is the cornerstone of gaining other people’s’ respect, so when it comes to giving negative or positive feedback employees will take it into account and be motivated. This is what we call “effective leadership”!

Learning- A leadership personality is aware that learning is a lifelong process; this is the reason why they’re constantly seeking opportunities to educate and improve themselves. Moreover, a leader always recognizes that, sometimes, other people are more knowledgeable than them in certain topics and allows those people to express their opinion for the company’s benefit. One of the qualities of a great leader is hiring employees that will fill in expertise gaps inside the organization and promote a learning environment so everyone has the opportunity to grow personally.

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. It’s 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.

Being a leader is a quality you can nurture overtime inside you by having the self-awareness to know that you can always become better at what you do. When a person is striving to become more than just a business owner or a manager, they inspire employees to follow them.

Colin Powell said- “Leadership is solving problems. The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership”

The writer is a Kigali Based business consultant and strategist.


E-mail: john@gmskigali.com