Being a leader isn’t only about stating who is in charge and running the show with an iron fist, it’s about developing a team and working towards a central goal. Great leaders have certain qualities and skills that make them great. They manage employees that love their job, not just tolerate it.
There are many qualities and skills that successful leaders possess. Some of them come naturally, while others may need practice. That’s perfectly okay, because one quality of an excellent leader is knowing that there is always room for improvement.
Let’s take a look at some other identifiable characteristics and skills that a phenomenal leaders have.
Why it’s important: If you aren’t committed to what you do, then why should anyone else be? Commitment is a very important quality in leadership. Being committed and enthusiastic about what you do is infectious and it will spread to your employees, getting them excited and committed too.
Who’s got it: Even though she is no longer hosting her own show, Oprah Winfrey has exhibited a commitment level throughout her career. Without her commitment, she would never have been as successful as she is.
Why it’s important: Character is the traits that make up who you are as a person. It is shown in how you treat your employees and others around you. Team leaders that exhibit positive character traits like being honest and kind, are much more respected.
Who’s got it: Howard Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks and he is known for his impeccable character towards his employees. When three Starbucks employees were killed in Washington, D.C., Schultz made sure that he delivered the devastating news to the families himself.
Why it’s important: Communication is the foundation of many successful relationships. Great leaders know how to properly communicate to their employees about what is expected of them.
Who’s got it: Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has been praised for his excellent communication.
Why it’s important: Successful leaders ooze charisma. They are likeable, approachable, easy to talk to, and almost always have a great sense of humor.
Who’s got it: Along with being an excellent communicator, Tim Cook is also very amicable. He is humble as well, admitting to his mistakes.
Why it’s important: Many successful leaders display generosity. Giving to the community, helping others in need, and ensuring their employees are well taken care of is an admirable quality to have.
Who’s got it: If your first thought was Oprah, you’d be right! Oprah has given back to so many of her fans, employees, and guests on her show year in and year out.
Why it’s important: You have to have a passion for what you do for a living. Without the passion behind an idea or dream, it often doesn’t make it past that stage. It gives you drive and keeps you going, and much like commitment, will be demonstrated by your employees as well.
Who’s got it: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, has had a passion for his job. Imagine if he just said, “Eh, I have this idea but I’m not really that excited about it. It could be big, but I just don’t feel passionate about it.” Do you think Microsoft would be where it is today? I don’t.
Why it’s important: The relationships you build with your employees can directly affect how well they perform. You’re going to work with people that you may not like very much or at all. However, it is very important to try to create a comfortable business relationship with everyone around you.
Who’s got it: Larry Page, CEO of Google, has built such great relationships with his employees, that many of his original hires are still with him. They could live the rest of their lives not worrying about making money, but they choose to dedicate more time to Larry Page and Google.
Why it’s important: Teachability is the ability to learn. I like to think of it as being able to evolve and grow as a business. Keeping up with current technology and trends is important so that you can keep your company up to date.
Who’s got it: Jeff Bezos, CEO and President of Amazon. He said, “What is dangerous is not to evolve.” This is sound advice for any team leader to want to keep a business up and running.
Why it’s important: Let’s face it, no one is perfect. We are all going to make mistakes. What makes the difference is how you treat that mistake. It’s okay to admit you made one and it’s even better to learn from the mistake.
Who’s got it: As mentioned above, Tim Cook from Apple has made a mistake or two and has certainly admitted to them. He recently wrote a letter to China, apologizing for the problems their customer service gave to the customers. He took into account that the company had wronged China, and he made sure that it was taken care of.
10. Acting as an equal
Why it’s important: You have to be able to work with your employees as an equal. Sure, you are their boss, but when you aren’t attending important meetings or answering emails, you should be out roughing it up with the best of them. They need to see you to know you’re involved and you need to work with them. Working with your team as an equal is a difficult skill to tackle.
Who’s got it: Mark Zuckerberg was rated Best Boss in this year’s Glassdoor.com poll. He trusts his employees enough to let them take the reigns every once in a while. That trust is a great example of him treating his employees as equals.
There are many other qualities and skills that make a great leader. Some come naturally, while others have to be learned and honed.
What qualities and skills do you look for in a leader? Let us know below!