Let’s face it. It’s not easy to be a great leader. We all have fears and stuff comes up! Depending on your circumstances you may even be a reluctant leader so don’t even get me started on that piece! Regardless of your situation one thing that you can count upon is that leadership requires a unique set of skills and personality traits. Few people are born great leaders, but everyone can maximize their leadership skills and qualities.
Many of us want to be better leaders, but don’t know where to start. Recently I wrote a chapter entitled Developing the Leader Self for an amazing collaborative book complied by Rebecca Hall Gruyter Influencers and Experts, Leadership Edition which is set to come out in June 2019.
There are so many great books on leadership skills, but the effectiveness of these skills is limited without the proper personality to execute those skills.
Step into these 10 powerful traits to develop your fearless leader self:
- Boldness. Being a great leader takes guts. As a leader, decisions and results are your responsibility whether they are positive or negative. You need to set the course for your people. You need to keep moving towards your goal. You’ll get most of the credit when things go well, but you must be strong enough to take the brunt of the negative attention for poor outcomes. This is where you need to count on the courage of your convictions.
- Assertiveness. You can’t be timid and be a great leader. You need to show up, speak up and stand out. You have to assertively share your ideas and opinions without fear. You have to be able to tell people “no” and sometimes you may have to give bad news. If you tend to be passive, your ability to lead is compromised. Be completely clear about your passion and your purpose to serve the group vision and you will feel less self conscious about being assertive.
- Confidence. Confidence is intoxicating. People model themselves after confident people. When you are confident, people are willing to follow you. It does not serve you to be self deprecating or conversely to hold back your opinion or perspective. Let’s face it, if you show that you don’t trust yourself or your decisions, other’s won’t trust you either. Being confident fosters confidence in others. Everyone will be looking to as a role model.
- Emotional Mastery. When you lead others, there are many ups and downs. You will need to learn to manage your disappointment and other emotional energies. You don’t have the luxury of feeling depressed, frustrated, or disgruntled. It’s not that you are in-authentic, you absolutely need to deal with these things but that falls in the category of self care. I speak and teach extensively about whole self care (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) in my Holistic Healing Practice: Soma Sound Therapy. It’s your responsibility to keep your emotions under control so that you can lead the way with certainty and confidence.
- Tenacity. You can never give up. Persistence is one of the most important qualities a great leader can have. This stick-to-it-ness trait goes along with emotional stability. Are you able to stick with your plan when things are going wrong? Do you double your efforts when faced with an obstacle, or does your will falter? Once again, this comes with identifying clearly your passion and purpose and sticking to it with unwavering commitment.
- Be self Inspired. Leaders need to lead. You must be connected to the part of yourself that fuels your own inspiration daily so that you do not lose sight of your goals and how they contribute to a greater whole. If you can’t inspire yourself or inspire others to follow you, intimidation is the only alternative and we all know that leading by intimidation is a lose lose situation. Learn how to inspire others to do their best. Praise good work and good behavior. By being consistently inspirational and supportive others will demonstrate loyalty to you and to cause.
- Humility. It can be challenging to be a confident leader and be humble at the same time. While arrogant people often rise to leadership positions, few of them thrive in those roles. That is because arrogance is ego driven. You must put aside your ego driven motivations and tap into your true passion to maintain the energy and focus to lead a group. Arrogance leads to poor decisions and causes your followers to both distrust and dislike you.
- Resilience: You must get good at dealing with the complexity of change. When you’re leading a large group of people, things are complex. There are many levels of energies, personalities and group dynamics that must be taken into consideration. Every decision seems to affect everything else. Circumstances are constantly changing, and it’s challenging to deal with the complexity that arises.
- Charisma. Charisma is a little hard to define, but everyone knows it when they see it. Charisma is your sparkle. It’s form of charm that inspires others to like and follow you. The most charismatic people are confident, make others feel good about themselves, and are dominant in a subtle way. Charisma can take you far. I think that you can learn to develop charisma but like anything else it takes mindfulness, determination and consistent commitment. I talk about this more at length in my FREE ebook How to Talk so other’s will Listen which you can download from my website.
- Integrity. When you say you are going to do something, do it. Be your word. If you don’t believe what you say, how will anyone else? Without integrity, no one will trust you. You can’t expect your followers to be honest with you if you don’t do the same for them. It’s about remaining true to your values regardless of the situation. It’s about picking up your garbage even if nobody is looking. Leaders that lack integrity don’t last long and often jump from one company to another.
How do your own personality traits stack up? What can you improve to become a more effective leader? Not everyone is born with natural leaderships skills and attributes, but everyone can become a good leader with a little self awareness and personal development.
Which of these traits can you put your focus on to become a better leader today? If you want to become a great leader, work on these traits and become the very best leader you can be.
Here’s to your success!