Whether you think leaders are born or made–or a bit of both–there are some characteristics that distinguish leaders from everyone else. Have you ever wondered if you or someone you know is a natural-born leader? Or what character traits make for great, effective leaders?
Keep reading to find out if you have some of the personality traits to be an effective leader.
Trait #1 - They Are Task-Oriented
The number one goal of someone who is task-oriented... getting the job done. Are you someone who likes to get things done? Do people come to you and ask you to do something for them and know you'll do it? Not everyone has this trait, but those who do possess it may end up being effective leaders. Being task-oriented means being a "doer," the person who focuses on getting something done and not stopping until they have completed the task.
Task-oriented people generally follow through. This is important in a leader because leaders have definite goals to reach and people to lead. People are prone to stop following you if you don't get things finished.
Also, task-oriented leaders do not need anyone to hold their hand in order to get something done. They can take initiative on their own—the task itself is the motivation. They also know how to corral others, properly delegate assignments, and communicate effectively.
Trait #2 - They Have Great Self-Awareness
Leaders who have this trait are pretty honest about their weaknesses and strengths, but not to the point of letting either take over. For instance, a leader can balance between recognizing their weakness and not letting that stop him/her, and a leader can see his/her strengths without getting conceited. Those in leadership positions may find that they gain more respect when they are honest and "transparent" about their flaws than if they pretend to be perfect.
Leaders who have this trait are also more aware of how they interact with those around them. By knowing this, they are cognizant of how their words or actions affect those they lead. Doing this allows them to introspect and change if they find any faults.
This great behavior and relationship management trait helps leaders lead more effectively and pass those traits on to others.
"Leaders who have the ability to control their minds and emotions help to guide those around them to develop their own self-knowledge and success.”—Psychologist and author Sherrie Campbell, author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person
Trait #3 - They Are A People Person
A leader who is a people person–someone who is outgoing and great at socializing with others–gets lots of energy from being around people. These extroverted personalities make outstanding leaders. Their enthusiasm is contagious and can have a positive influence on those they lead. Also, most extroverts find it easy to make quick decisions; a skill essential for many industries. However, introverts aren't excluded from leadership either, as both have positive attributes that are key to leadership. You can have a love for people and be introverted; you just respond differently to interacting with others.
In other words, you can be a "people person" even if you find yourself tired of leading at the end of a day. A love for people and their well-being can motivate both extroverts and introverts.
Trait #4 - They Have Infectious Joy
Have you ever been around someone who just seems happy with life in general? If a person shares an idea or thought and seems really happy about it, do you feel like joining them? Leaders who exhibit this kind of infectious joy draw other people to them. Positive-thinking leaders have a zest for life that compels other people to join them. Our energy is contagious, and we exchange that energy with every interaction we make.
Leaders who exude positive energy have an extraordinarily uplifting quality that compels those around them to perform extraordinarily.
The general consensus is that the characteristics of a good leader can be in-born or learned, or a bit of both. If you don't have all of these traits naturally, you can learn many of them. No two leaders are the same, but we can all aim to work on our leadership skills to enhance our job performance and the job performance of those we lead.
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