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Being a great leader

Some people are born to lead, or so the saying goes, but is that true? Can a Great leader not be created too? There are certain character traits which are composite to leadership, but with understanding of what is involved it should be possible to hone these skills and become a Great Leader.

What is involved in Leadership?

In order to be a leader, one must have a willing team to lead. Whether this is a nation, a multi-billion dollar business, or indeed a small team the principles are the same. From this point on, great leadership is about belief and reflection. Show your team what the desirable characteristics are and they will reflect them back to you to create the end goal.

Communication

Speaking and listening are key skills for a great leader. Feedback takes its place here, and in the emotional intelligence section as it fosters respect between the leadership and the masses. A good leader needs to be able to communicate effectively with people at all levels. Oration at meetings, presentations and conferences can certainly make or break someone’s credibility. If the vision is there but the delivery is lacking then the audience is unable to connect and be swept up in the excitement of the journey.

Positivity

Intrinsically interwoven with the skills of communication is the essential art of Positivity. To remain positive in the face of the inevitable spanner in the works or the odd derailment to a project is an essential part of leadership. Your team, however big, will take their lead from you. If you react to an issue in a negative way, then so will your team. If you appear to take it in your stride, the team will react in the same way, with a positive confidence.

Confidence

Confidence is key. If you believe in your end goal then it is easier to sell it to others. It aids communication and helps maintain a positive outlook. Confidence in oneself is an essential part of being a leader, but having confidence in others to help fulfil to vision is also integral to building a positive working environment. A crowd can be a skittish and flighty creature! Group consciousness can work in your favour, or indeed against you, so maintaining high morale within your workforce is imperative.

Emotional Intelligence

Morale can also be one of those things that can seem beyond your control. Individuals are motivated by a variety of factors based on their personal need. Some benefit from monetary gain over and above all else, while some require nurturing and praising to maintain their sense of value. In order to ensure each member of the team is working to their optimum, a great leader needs to have empathy and strong emotional intelligence.

To be able to recognise feelings and emotions in yourself and others and the effects this can have on behaviour is a soft skill that has in recent years seen a growth in importance in business management. It aids in the incentivising of the workforce, and is part of remaining positive and confident. But it also helps to increase respect within the team; not just from the group toward the leader, but essentially from the leader towards their team.

Commitment

Underpinning many of these traits is the demonstrable commitment that the leader can show. If commitment is shown towards the project, the team and to an honest and ethical approach to achieving it, then respect and morale levels will be high with team buy in. If the person in charge does not show the commitment needed to see a project through, then quickly the team will reflect that back.

These skills are inherent in all of us to greater or lesser extent. It takes understanding of yourself to know which ones are in need of some work, but they do say “Cometh the hour, Cometh the man”. With some training, and some corporate team building activities the hour could be yours to shine.