The Characteristic of Leadership - 7 Important Traits

An old phrenology head - used to determine peoples personality by the size of their head

Studying the characteristic of leadership is useful because we tend break things into characteristics to make big concepts easier to handle. There are common traits that define leadership, and finding them only takes some study of those who have been successful. By actively building on these traits you can develop into a stronger leader.

Here are some of the most common traits in the characteristic of leadership:

  • Empathy: Creating a legitimate rapport with your staff makes it less likely that personal issues and resentment can creep in and derail the group. When your team knows that you are empathetic to their concerns, they will be more likely to work with you and share in your vision, rather than foster negative feelings.
  • Consistency: Being a consistent leader will gain you respect and credibility, which is essential to getting buy-in from the group. By setting an example of fairness and credibility, the team will want to act the same way.
  • Honesty: Another characteristic of leadership that lends itself to credibility. Those who are honest, especially about concerns, make it far more likely that obstacles will be addressed rather than avoided. Honesty also allows for better assessment and growth.
  • Direction: Having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things --then the wherewithal to set the steps necessary to get there-- is an essential characteristic of good leadership. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there, a good leader can create impressive change.
  • Communication: Effective communication helps keep he team working on the right projects with the right attitude. If you communicate effectively about expectations, issues and advice, your staff will be more likely to react and meet your goals.
  • Flexibility: Not every problem demands the same solution. By being flexible to new ideas and open-minded enough to consider them, you increase the likelihood that you will find the best possible answer. You will set a good example for your team and reward good ideas.
  • Conviction: A strong vision and the willingness to see it through is one of the most important characterizes of leadership. The leader who believes in the mission and works toward it will be an inspiration and a resource to their followers.

Of course, there are several other theories about leadership and leadership styles where different skills come into play. But no matter what your approach, if you display the previous traits you will be well equipped to lead a team successfully.

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