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5 Leadership Qualities That Make You A Good Leader

Published August 08, 2022 (last updated February 21, 2023) - Head of Operations

What makes a good leader? What are the ideal leadership qualities? Is it something that one is born with, or can leadership skills be acquired over time? Research suggests that people can develop qualities of a good leader with time, learning and experience. 

Before we look at qualities of a good leader, let’s understand what defines leadership.

What is leadership?

It is a time of change and crisis for several industries and businesses. Employers are facing staff shortages, burnout, and rising costs. This is causing them to act under pressure, thus failing to foster a sense of trust and loyalty in their staff. This doesn’t have to be the norm. Business owners and employers who can display leadership skills can inspire and motivate their teams to be productive and happy.

Leadership is bringing the best out in your team, sharing your vision, and inspiring them to commit to you and the business.

Good Leadership Qualities

Effective leaders understand that they often must lead by example. Their traits and characteristics are vital in setting the tone for the team. If you are a small business owner and employer, then your employees look up to you to set the standard. Below are some qualities that make a good leader:

  • Integrity- Doing what is right isn’t easy. Great leaders choose to do the right thing, despite the cost. They always put others first and accept blame when things go wrong. They also ensure credit where credit is due. Leaders with integrity can create trust and motivation among employees.
  • Communication- Poor communication can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and significantly impact the mental health of your employees. Among several leadership skills, communication is extremely important. If a leader is a poor communicator, they can be perceived as weak or untrustworthy.
  • Decisiveness- Decisiveness is what several people consider as one of the key leadership skills. Good leaders are decisive, knowing all the risks and liabilities of decision making. They evaluate all the possible outcomes without feeling overwhelmed. They take decisions that benefit the business and the employees in the long run.
  • Empathy- Leadership is about the people. Great leaders have empathy as they know that the business is run by people. They understand that their employees have issues and concerns. They are willing to listen and support them.
  • Confidence- Confident leaders make their team feel confident. They can sense when their employees are having a crisis of confidence and uplift them.

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Qualities of a bad leader

Bad leaders can impact your business, creating a negative work environment. What are some of the qualities of a bad leader?

  • Sets unrealistic expectations- Bad leaders often fail to be realistic. They set short deadlines, put extreme pressure on employees, and cause employees to feel stressed. Unrealistic expectations can also manifest in the form of too much focus on numbers and results without considering the external and internal conditions.
  • Avoids conflict- Bad leaders don’t want to engage in decision making or conflict resolution. They will pretend that conflict or friction does not exist or expect employees to handle it themselves.
  • Micromanages- Bad leaders don’t trust their employees to do their jobs and hence they micromanage. They fail to delegate effectively and end up overseeing every small task and project.
  • Self-centred- By putting themselves first, poor leaders make their employees feel disrespected. They are self-centred and not concerned with the welfare of others.
  • Not customer focused- A bad leader is usually not focused on customers or clients. They don’t care about the consequences of their actions or service, thus resulting in damages and losses.

How to develop leadership skills among employees?

Good leaders and business owners know how to create better leaders among their employees. If you run a small business, training your employees to become good leaders can be of value.

  • Encourage responsibility- If you see the potential in an employee, encourage them to take more responsibility. See how they thrive under the pressure of leadership.
  • Provide opportunities for networking- Let your employees interact with others and network. Encourage them to attend work related events or conferences.
  • Provide Training- Help them learn by offering training, seminars, or workshops. If your business has the capability, you can let them sign up for a course that develops their leadership qualities.

Good leaders can make the difference between a successful, sustainable business, and a failing one. Good leadership is also about understanding when you need to ask for help from other leaders such as Employsure. Employsure has worked with thousands of business owners to build their policies and contracts and support them with employment relations.

Call our 24/7 FREE Advice line today for further information.

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