What characteristics comprise a great leader? How do they act? How do they treat their team?
These are just some of the questions that come to mind when evaluating ourselves, our employees or preparing for a new hire. You can easily find scholarly articles defining leadership, exploring leadership styles and encouraging various leadership paths. But what does the average employee think?
We asked 10 different employees to name their top 3 characteristics they believe every great leader should have. Do you agree?
- Integrity - Compassion - Determination
- Honest - Serves Others - Communicates Well
- Communication - Ability to Delegate Tasks - Positive
- Confidence - Communication - Intuition
- Good Listener - Trusts Their Associates - Extremely Patient
- Empowering - Relatable - Inquisitive
- Empathy - Decision Making Skills - Sense of Humor
- Honesty - Positivity - Accepts Responsibility
- Experience - Training - Interpersonal Skills
- Attentive - Proactive - Good Listening Skills
There are several underlying themes among the answers. Empowerment and communication.
The true definition of empowerment means to give power to, but in the workforce this word can be interpreted several different ways. Do you empower yourself to do well each and every day? Do you empower those around you - your peers? Do you empower your team? Do you give them the encouragement they need to be extremely productive each day?
Communication comes to down to you having a plan in place and ensuring that plan is understood by the entire team. Do you feel your team is getting the message you are trying to send? Do they have the proper forms of communication to be able to effectively work together and with their leader? Are the goals and objectives being passed down the organizational hierarchy?
When looking at the similarities between these characteristics, you can start to see a leadership style develop.
We urge you to think of your favorite leader, a boss or mentor who has made an impact on you. How did they act? What characteristics would you use to describe them? Implement those characteristics into your daily interactions at work.