Leadership is a personal characteristic that individuals will hear about repeatedly throughout a lifetime. Employers look for leadership skills in managers as well as entry-level employees. Some individuals are natural leaders; others can learn and implement the skills to become a leader. Knowing what characteristics are being sought in a leader can help an individual land the perfect management position.
As a leader of any type of group, you should always prepare to take full responsibility when things go wrong. It is your responsibility to steer your group in the right direction and ensure that each individual in the group is doing his fair share. You should always admit where you went wrong as a leader. Arming yourself with this information will make you an even better leader for the next task. Being responsible also entails disciplinary action when needed.
Listen and Act
Good leaders have excellent listening skills. When your team voices concerns, you should listen wholeheartedly, then take the proper steps to address the issue. Take into account the group's ideas about fixing the problem. Let your team know what action you plan to take. This will not only let your team know that you are listening but also indicate you are working on the problem.
Being organized is an important part of leadership. You should be able to find everything you need almost instantaneously. Proper organization of your workload, assigned tasks, team and paperwork will make your team more productive. If your items for a particular task become disorganized throughout a day's work, you should organize them before leaving the office. This will give you a fresh start in the morning without struggling to find what you need.
Flexibility and Planning
Leaders need to be flexible. This could mean anything from the days in your workweek, hours in your workday or number of tasks you assign yourself. If a project is due in 30 days, set a plan in action to have your team deliver within 25 days. Planning the entire assignment ahead of time will allow you more flexibility to change things near the due date. This will also allow you extra time in the event of an emergency or unforeseen event that might delay finishing the assignment.
Communication and Honesty
Communication is the key to a good team relationship. Communicating effectively will ensure that your team trusts you, and it might even build your trust in your team. Being honest with your team members about their assignments, workload, due dates and expectations will bring a higher level of respect between all individuals involved. Even when a leader has to communicate bad news, the level of past communication will play a large role in how the team takes the news.