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Stand Tall and Step Up: 5 Key Characteristics of Good Leadership

Improve your personal and professional life by developing leadership skills

Leadership involves more than being the boss. With the right social maneuvering, anyone can find themselves at the top of a hierarchy, but being a good leader means being respectful and respected and having the ability to make decisions and communicate thoughts and ideas with confidence. A good leader embodies a wide variety of qualities and skills in order to excel, and although some of those traits are innate characteristics in certain individuals, almost all of them can be developed through awareness, practice, and a true desire to lead with courage and conviction.

A winning combination of characteristics

There’s a vast array of leadership styles, so being a good leader is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. However, most successful leaders have a healthy balance of the following characteristics in common:

1. Confidence: When envisioning an example of a successful leader, confidence is one of the first qualities to come to mind. A strong leader makes decisions and delegates tasks in a way that demonstrates that they trust themselves and their team. Good posture, careful attention to maintaining a professional appearance, and an assertive and articulate style of communication are all effective indicators of confidence.

Simply assuming the carriage and characteristics of confidence can help you develop it, so if it doesn’t come naturally, play the part until it does. The small successes that follow will contribute to a larger sense of self-confidence that will endure.

2. Integrity: If you aren’t honest, accountable, and willing to admit your mistakes, don’t expect the people working for you to feel safe doing so either. Integrity isn’t always easy to maintain – people fear looking weak or foolish, or think they may suffer professional consequences if they mess up or get something wrong.

Be open and honest in a transparent way; admit when you’re wrong or if you’ve made a mistake. Creating a culture of integrity and accountability by modeling it yourself will help you earn the respect of those around you.

3. Flexibility: Regardless of the quality of your work or leadership ability, things don’t always go as planned. It’s just the nature of life and business. Being a good leader requires a strong sense of creativity and adaptability. A good captain can recognize when the ship is heading into dangerous waters and the willingness to change course as necessary; a good leader does the same.

Accept and embrace that there’s more than one way to do the right thing. Listen to feedback from your team, be open to new ideas, and adapt and evolve often.

4. Positivity: No one thrives in an environment full of doom and gloom. Effective leadership involves finding the silver lining, inspiring your team, empowering individuals, and demonstrating a sense of passion that’s contagious. Work can be monotonous, regardless of what that work entails, and a good leader can inspire a sense of commitment by bringing excitement to your company’s overall mission.

Enthusiasm goes a long way – love what you do, encourage the people who do it, point out the positive, and praise a job well done, easily and often.

5. Communication: Clearly communicating is obviously essential to leadership, but creating a healthy dialog and listening is a frequently forgotten component of good communication. Invite feedback at meetings, ask your team members open-ended questions, and participate in brainstorming sessions.

Speak with authority, stay true to your word so that it means something, and listen generously; don’t dismiss ideas offhand, don’t think about your response while another person is speaking, and be approachable.

Being an effective leader requires having a team that respects and trusts you. People are eager to feel valued and to be a part of something important; a good leader recognizes that and accommodates it by making their team feel safe, happy, and heard. Investing time and energy into developing and demonstrating good leadership skills will contribute exponentially to the personal and professional growth of not only you but also of those around you.

If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.

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