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Do You Need Certain Strengths to be a Good Leader?
When you think about what it means to be considered a good leader, there is no doubt quite a few aspects come to mind.
Not everybody is cut out to be a leader, and it takes someone with a certain set of qualities to be able to maintain such a position. However, what exactly are the skills that are deemed necessary to be a good leader?
More often than not, people will name the same merits when asked about good leadership skills. These usually include the likes of brutal honesty, effective delegating skills, commitment to the job, creativity, a positive attitude and, perhaps most importantly, the self-belief that you have what it takes. These are, without a doubt, essential when it comes to good management.
But this doesn't mean that there aren't other, more precise, qualities that are necessary for someone who hopes to become a good leader. When it comes to what makes a successful leader, several different aspects need to be taken into account and they will all contribute towards ensuring that the person becomes someone who can lead efficiently.
The Specific Strengths of a Good Leader
What sort of things do you think about when trying to visualise a good leader?
Well, aside from the traits previously mentioned, there are quite a few that will go a long way in defining somebody who could take charge. These are the sort of things that people really need to think about if they are hoping to rise through the ranks and end up on top.
This one is very much a necessity when it comes to leadership because those in employment need to understand what the task is that you are giving them.
You need to be clear on the goals you set as their performance will be reflected back to you, good or bad. In order to do this, you should always speak clearly when talking to someone, or else make sure that electronic messages are not vague.
Explore our extensive Communication Skills library.
Since a leader is someone who needs to regularly meet with strangers in order to discuss business, as well talk to employees regarding tasks and their work performance, it should come as no surprise that social skills are crucial and something at which they should be adept.
You don't need to be a social person in general, just in the situations that warrant it.
Good leaders have to be able to speak confidently about their product and business, that's a given. But it's also important that they are skilled at listening to others.
Whether it's with other company leaders or their own workers, a good leader will always be able to listen to any problems or suggestions that other people might have.
Explore our pages on listening, including: Active Listening and Types of Listening.
A leader needs to lead a team to success, so it's important that not only do they have the ability to organise an effective team, but that they can work as part of one themselves.
That's not to say that they shouldn't still be an authoritative voice on matters, because they should. It just means that they need to be able to take an active role in what is going on in the business. Making sure your employees are thoroughly assessed is another goal you may want to reach in this regard.
See our page on Team-working for more
It should be a given that a leader should be someone who is determined.
After all, this isn't a person who wants to stay just an employee. They want to get to the top of their game and end up being able to run a business. This will inevitably lead to a lot of setbacks, but a truly determined person won't let this stop them and will push through them to ultimately come out the other end as a leader.
Similar to the point about determination, this is another aspect that shouldn't come as a shock.
Someone who is willing to push through drawbacks is no doubt someone with a lot of confidence in their abilities. It's essential that you can show your confidence off proudly so that potential business partners and associates feel as though they can trust your judgement.
All of these qualities effectively work together in order to present a person who has what it takes to not only be a leader, but be a good one. There's certainly nothing easy about the task of becoming one, but it's rewarding and these skills will very much help towards it.
Lacking the Necessary Leadership Qualities
You may find yourself asking about what happens if you don't have certain leadership skills and this is undoubtedly something that deserves a lot of thought.
It's only natural that someone won't display all the qualities listed here, but as long as they have some of the necessary skills, then the others should be relatively easy to pick up if they have enough strength of mind.
How exactly can you develop the skills in order to improve your chances of becoming a good leader?
Well, there are a few ways that you accomplish it, as long as you are willing to admit your weaknesses and strive towards making the necessary improvements. Just bear in mind that becoming a good leader is a process and won't happen overnight.
Know the Problem Areas
The first thing to do is to target the specific problems.
You need to be truthful with yourself about where you are falling short and then try and write a list about how these can be dealt with. Do you lack social skills? Could your communication skills be improved?
Decide why exactly it is that you aren't reaching your full potential on and think about ways that you can go about changing this.
Set Goals for Yourself
Make sure that you know where you want to end up by becoming a good leader.
If you have a certain aim in mind, then this might spur you on to make the changes more quickly. It might be a good idea to think about your aforementioned problem areas and then, once you have covered how to tackle these, write down exactly what you hope to accomplish by doing so.
Have a look at our page on Setting Personal Goals for more.
Becoming the Best Leader You Can
So, the question is, do you really need all of these skills to be a great leader?
Well, it's definitely better to have them than to not!
Certain qualities might be more important than others, though some will be essential no matter what. Confidence and determination are certainly aspects that every good leader should have and the others should be able to be picked up on without much trouble.
If you are hoping to become someone who is considered a good leader, then it is always best to play to your own strengths and also factor in what line of work it is that you are in. Other aspects can come into play, such as positivity, creativity and intuition, though these are the sorts of attributes that can be sorted out at a later date and aren't completely necessary to establishing yourself as a good leader.
At Strengthscope, we aim towards helping organisations achieve peak performance through utilising the energy and strengths of their employees.
This is done through a number of ways and we are happy to share the assessment knowledge we receive through articles such as this.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.
Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.
About the Author
Sarah Glazier is Marketing Manager for Strengthscope, a leadership and organisation development company dedicated to helping organisations deliver positive workplaces and lasting success by optimising people's strengths.