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Leadership Traits

Leadership Traits

By Cynthia Deaton

Most Managers are promoted to a supervisory role after excelling in their prior role.  For example, an outstanding hair stylist may receive a promotion to be a Store Manager.  While they may be good at cutting hair and possess the ability to work well with others on a day-to-day basis, this doesn’t mean they can lead their Team to a higher level.    In order to move the team from ordinary to extraordinary, the effective Manager needs to possess and master two types of skills: Management Skills and Leadership Skills.   While both are valuable and necessary, the Leader possesses certain skills that a Manager may struggle with.

While there are many different types of leadership styles, experts agree that certain traits are found in effective leaders regardless of their style.  Here is a list of some of the most common traits among successful leaders.

  • Honesty & Integrity – This is the foundation of leadership. Good leaders never compromise their honesty & integrity by lying and cheating to get ahead.   If your team does not trust you, they will not support your vision and the foundation will crumble.
  • Emotional Intelligence – This is the capability to recognize your own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and use this information to guide thinking and behavior to adapt to situations.
  • Maturity – To be a good leader, your personal authority must be secondary to the development of your Team. In simple terms, a mature person empowers others instead of ruling over them.
  • Team Orientation – A good leader will practice humility and allow others to bring forth their best ideas without demanding the group accept theirs. Teams consist of equal adult relationships where everyone feels comfortable contributing to the relationship, which fosters team cohesiveness.
  • Active Listening – Active listeners create an environment in which the Team Members feel comfortable discussing their concerns. Active listeners use their ears and mouth proportionately.
  • Communication – A leader must possess the skills to communicate goals clearly, and in a manner which leads to buy-in from the Team.
  • Inspiration – This is the ability to inspire Team Members to reach great heights of performance. The leader has a passion and excitement for striving towards the goals.
  • Vision – A leader needs to understand where they are and see a path for the future.
  • Confidence – A leader must remain confident, because the team will feed off of this confidence and perform more productively.

Great leaders are rarely born.  They are developed from experience, mentoring and training.  Personal traits play a major role in who will be successful leading others.  However, it is important to remember that people are forever learning and growing.  If your goal is to be a leader, then practice demonstrating these traits in your daily work.

For more tips and leadership training, please contact Pinnacle’s HR team at