What does it take to be a leader at work?

Having strong leaders and a culture that creates leaders is vital to maintain a strong vision, keep activities on track, and motivate people. 

A simple definition of a leader is someone who has followers. But being a great leader requires more than people following you, great leaders are admired. 

Here are some traits that make great leaders:

  • Influential – You need to be able to persuade your team that you are working on the right projects for the business to excel.
  • Emotional intelligence – You need to develop your listening skills and empathise with those you are working with to build relationships and understand where their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Storytellers – Being able to tell great stories will make you inspirational and motivational.
  • Positive and motivational – You need to get the best out of your team and keep their spirits high when work is tough.
  • Strong understanding of the business they are leading
  • Be a role model – You want people to look up to you, not despise them. This will also assist you when it comes to influencing and motivating your team.
  • Manage different personalities – this is becoming increasingly important as there is a rise in political conflict in the work place.
  • Articulate a clear vision – You must have strong communication skills and a clear notion of what you deem successful. This will help you drive your team forward.

Now that we have touched upon some key characteristics that make great leaders, here are some steps to take to become a great leader? 

Take responsibility and step up 

As a leader you have to own projects, if something goes wrong you have to take responsive. 

Allocate time to understand your team 

Listen and connect with your team. Most importantly understand their strengths and weaknesses. Develop emotional intelligence 

Develop your organisational skills

You must able to manage multiple different projects and people to be a great leader, this requires organisational skill.s

Be willing to discuss difficult topics

Leaders should not shy away from difficult topics, if there is tension in a team or a project is not going well leaders need to be able to have those difficult conversations to resolve problems.

Enhance your communication skills

It is important to be clear and concise when communicating goals, and specific actions that are required. You cannot do everything yourself, so you must delegate. With this you need to communicate what exactly needs to be done and when. 

Be positive

Practcing gratitude can help you have  positive outlook. You need to motivate yourself and your team to go above and beyond. 

Develop your own leadership style

There is debate about how many leadership styles there are. Nevertheless, you should find what works for you and lean into your style.