Professional development always brings the question of leadership. What are some of the qualities of a good leader? What are some of the characteristics of a strong leader? What are some personality traits of a leader? What are effective leadership skills? As we advance our careers, eventually we will all need to develop some form of leadership skills. I and many other professionals in our field are very interested in answers to these questions. I will try my best to address these and welcome discussion and feedback.
What Are Some Common Qualities of Good Leaders?
Common qualities of good leaders include honesty, good communication skills, confidence, decisiveness and the ability to delegate. Good leaders must possess the ability to inspire or motivate, show empathy, display accountability, have a sense of humor, and have an adaptable personality. Additionally, good leaders have a positive, optimistic attitude.
Good leaders are good communicators. Communication plays a key role in leadership and is required to delegate responsibility or establish expectations. Good leaders must ask questions and understand the needs of others in order to lead appropriately.
Another common quality of good leaders is the ability to delegate responsibility. Good leaders understand they are unable to complete every task personally. Delegating responsibility shows others the leaders has confidence in their abilities and talents. This fosters an efficient and cohesive workplace.
Decisiveness is an important quality of good leaders. This quality helps leaders make difficult decisions quickly. Good leaders must make timely decisions in the best interest of the business or organization.
Good leaders are accountable and accept responsibility for the failures of the business or organization. Accountability is important for improving the effectiveness of company procedures or practices. When problems arise, a good leader must identify the issues and seek solutions.
What Are Some Characteristics of a Strong Leader?
Examples of effective leadership skills include honesty, the ability to delegate, a sense of humor, the ability to communicate clearly and confidence. A leader should also be able to keep his team motivated and have a sense of creativity to handle unexpected problems and take advantage of opportunities.
To keep himself and his employees honest, a leader can make a list of his essential beliefs and values and post them where everyone can see them. The lists can serve as a reminder to the type of honesty the leader and the organization seeks to exemplify.
Whenever there's work to be done, a leader should have the ability to delegate tasks to individuals who are the most qualified to handle them. In order to do this, a leader should be aware of team members' strengths and weaknesses as well as the type of work they enjoy doing.
Mistakes and setbacks may happen, but a leader needs to cultivate the ability to laugh at those mistakes and setbacks and learn from them. Team morale can be greatly improved with a sense of humor.
A leader should be able to clearly communicate his goals and vision to his team. Clear communication ensures everyone is working towards the same goal and is on the same page.
Establishing core values, such as honesty and respectfulness, and encouraging the team to follow these values by setting an example is a mark of a good leader. Good leaders also know how to communicate effectively by making themselves available, listening and articulating themselves clearly. Confidence is also essential to good leadership. When times are tough a good leader is able to keep the team calm and on track by staying focused on the end goal and avoiding panic.
Quality leadership also requires the ability to inspire a team to be passionate about the vision and mission of the job. Leaders are able to develop creative and innovative solutions to unexpected and complicated problems and maintain a light hearted and positive attitude in the workplace. Effective leaders understand the importance of creating an environment where employees feel comfortable and excited to work, and having a good sense of humor contributes to such an atmosphere. Exemplary leaders also demonstrate commitment by working hard, keeping their word and delegating tasks when necessary.
I hope that this article is helpful with advancing your careers. If you are a leader already I hope this gives you some new ideas on leadership techniques. As mentioned earlier, eventually we will all be in a leadership position even if it is as simple as the senior provider in your department. Displaying the characteristics of a good leader will give some of your co-workers someone to look up to. Sometimes the informal leader is the strongest.
Paul Desillier, MPAS, PA-C