There is no safe way to be a good leader. You do not win all the time and you have to learn that failure is part of the leadership game – so long as you don’t make the same mistake twice… Sir Colin Marshall
So what exactly are the attributes of leadership? This blog will attempt to identify some of the issues that result in successful leadership. Although it is extremely important to know what not to do when you are leading people, it is equally important to know what to do. We have identified the 12 major attributes of leadership. This is far from an exhaustive list, however it encompasses all of the leading attributes of effective leaders. We feel that you will recognize many of the issues raised, however we think that you will find this section enlightening nonetheless.
Attributes Of Leadership #1 – Willingness To Try The Untried
Understandably, no employee wants to be led by a manager who lacks courage and self-confidence. Only positive leadership styles take on challenging tasks or opportunities that have as of yet been untried.
A successful sales manager for example will go out and sell when the market is challenging, or when the salespeople are under intense pressure. The successful manager will understand that they risk being unsuccessful, but nevertheless, knows full well that leading by example will maintain the motivation of the team.
Attributes Of Leadership #2 – Self-Motivation
If a manager cannot motivate himself or herself, then there is little chance that they can motivate their team.
Attributes Of Leadership #3 – A Clear Sense Of What Is Fair
This is an excellent quality of an effective leader. In order to retain the respect of the team, a manager must be sensitive to what is fair and just. A leadership style where all people are treated fairly and most of all equally creates a feeling of security.
Attributes Of Leadership #4 – Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
The motivated leader always has goals and has planned for their, and their team’s, achievement. He or she plans the work and then works the plan.
Attributes Of Leadership #5 – ‘Sticking To Your Guns’
In order to show that you are sure of yourself, you must avoid hesitating during the decision-making process. the effective leader makes a decision after having given sufficient thought to a problem. He or she will even consider the possibility that the decision being taken might turn out to be the wrong one.
Everyone who makes decisions will get some of them wrong, it is simply inevitable. However, this will not necessarily lessen respect from your followers. An effective leader makes a decision and then shows his or her conviction and belief in that decision by sticking to it.
Attributes Of Leadership #6 – The Habit Of Going The Extra Mile
One of the penalties of leadership is a willingness to do more than is required of one’s followers. The manager who arrives before his staff, and leaves a little bit later is one example of this positive attribute of a successful leader.
Attributes Of Leadership #7 – A Positive Outlook
Followers respect this quality. It not only engenders confidence, but also develops and maintains an enthusiastic team.
Attributes Of Leadership #8 – Empathy
A successful leader must be able to have the ability to place themselves in the shoes of his or her followers i.e. see the situation from their perspective. You do not have to agree with their point of view, but you must be able to see how they feel and understand their viewpoint.
Attributes Of Leadership #9 – Mastery Of Detail
The successful leader understands and carries out every detail of his or her job and, of course, has the knowledge and the skill to master the responsibilities that go with the position.
Attributes Of Leadership #10 – Willingness To Accept Full Responsibility
One of the other penalties of leadership is the accepts practice of taking responsibility for the mistakes of followers. Should a follower make a mistake, even through incompetence, the leader must consider that it is himself who has failed. If the leader tries to transfer this responsibility, he or she will not remain the leader. The successful leader accepts the cliché; “The buck stops here.”
Attributes Of Leadership #11 – Duplication
The successful leader is always trying to find new ways of duplicating their skills in other people. In this way, he or she develops others and is effectively able to be in many different places at the same time.
This, of all the necessary attributes, is undoubtedly the greatest for leaders. One can always judge a great leader by the number of people they have transferred their talents to. Andrew Carnegie, one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known, created 32 millionaires out of his organization.
Attributes Of Leadership #12 – A Deep Belief In Their Principles
It is fair to say, that anything of significant value takes effort to acquire. The successful leader has a determination to achieve goals, no matter what roadblocks materialize, and believes in what he or she is doing with a determination to fight for it.