Good leaders are the core of any productive team. They are the ones that expertly manage to balance the company’s demands with the employee’s needs and deliver to both with impeccable professionalism.
Juggling with so many things at once might make it seem like you need to be born with the skills, but in actuality, it’s an aptitude that can be learned and developed like any other.
There is a lot that goes into being a successful leader, which is why seminars and workshops the world over attempt to teach people how to do it. But we’ve found that it can all be boiled down to a few key traits that they all share.
As the person coordinating and supervising their team’s tasks, there is no surprise that any team leader has a big impact on their productivity. Constantly working on making it as efficient as possible should be one of their core professional goals, but this is a skill that needs to be trained like anything else.
So how to do it? The answer is simple: by constantly practicing. Developing the ability to organize should be a constant endeavor that shouldn’t stop just when you’ve left the office. Even in his personal life, a prospective leader can find opportunities to train those organizational skills.
It can be a birthday party, a baby shower, or a bachelor’s party, whatever it is, it’ll be a way for them to keep their skills sharp. While in the office, a very easy way to get started organizing your team is through objectives and key results templates.
This will break down big projects into manageable goals and measure their progress. Visually representing everyone’s part will also help foster accountability and ownership of tasks.
2. Good Communicator
A good leader needs to efficiently communicate with his team in order to manage them. They need to be approachable and honest, in order for their team to be able to confide in them. To accomplish this, they’ll need to make constant efforts to build their trust.
Having an open-door policy can help bridge the gap between the ranks. Another way is to always practice active listening. If they do not have the time to focus on their employee when requested, they then set time aside for them on another date.
Then they keep their word and follow up with them. This will show that they care for their team member’s input and also that they are reliable.
3. Confident decision-maker
A core requirement of leadership, since people tend to not listen to a good idea if it’s said in a meek voice. A portrayal of confidence is absolutely necessary even if it is fake at the beginning.
“Fake it ‘till you make it” is the rule of the game here. They do not let themselves be easily perturbed as they know their team looks to them for support.
Even when they are unsure, they make decisions confidently knowing that it’s better to be wrong than to waver and break their group’s morale. When mistakes are made, they are the first to admit them setting the example for the team.
4. Leads by example
Studies have shown that humans are very susceptible to the perception of being wronged and misunderstood. Good leaders know this and show their teams they empathize by walking in their shoes first and then asking them to do it. They set high standards for themselves, and make sure that their actions align with them.
5. Objective Diplomat
Communicating well is a must, but a conciliatory approach is vital to managing the conflicts that will inevitably arise when people are put together.
They need to be objective and not take any sides to preserve their integrity. They know that doing otherwise will lead to their position of authority being questioned.
6. Promotes the Team
Investing in a team means investing in the future. This investment can come in many ways, not necessarily monetary. It can mean taking the time to make sure that the extra effort put in by someone is noticed and appreciated if not rewarded.
Giving credit where credit is due. Inspiring the team by celebrating their own achievements. This all will come together to create a positive feedback loop, as the work environment improves leading to the team making a greater effort that then gets more recognition. Good leaders understand the value of positive reinforcement.
If a leader isn’t in touch with their team, then they cannot manage them. This doesn’t mean going every night for drinks, but understanding that he has people with lives of their own under him, that might have good days and bad days is needed.
Knowing that their decisions will have an impact on their lives, they need to have a general idea of what their employees are going through and be understanding and compassionate. This will help build rapport and help coalesce the team around the team leader.
Any organization is a machine in motion, where everyone acts as a cogwheel in a system. For it to work well, every group leader will need to keep his team feeling like it’s going somewhere. They need to have a certain momentum, a spark of optimism and positivity.
This feeling isn’t something that just happens, it is made with constant problem-solving that shows the team that things are getting better, not worse. They can’t ignore issues when they see them and need to proactively tackle them.
They develop creative ways that show the team’s link to the company’s goals, showing possible future opportunities or keeping them in the loop with management plans to foster company solidarity.
Putting it all together
Going through the traits it would seem like they couldn’t be found in a single person. And that would be right, as everyone has a different style of leadership, everyone is better at some of these traits than others. This is the ideal towards which every leader should work.
There is a direct correlation between performance and organized leadership. Taking the leadership role gives you a greater impact on an organization’s future. If this appeals to you, then start getting involved more and try incorporating the 8 traits of a successful team leader.