What does it mean to be a truly great leader? Some may say you are born a leader. Others say it’s something you learn from experience. But it might just be a true combination of both. If you have the innate desire and motivation to lead, you are already on the right track. You can push forward by gaining experience, getting an education, and putting in the work to grow into a leadership position. These steps will give you the skills to succeed.
While there may not be a “one size fits all” path or “secret sauce” to becoming a leader, there are specific qualities that all effective and successful leaders have. Here are four top qualities of a great leader:
Of all the qualities of a great leader, integrity needs to be high up on the list. That’s because at the end of the day, doing what’s right and ethical is essential for building trust and loyalty amongst employees. This means being transparent, owning mistakes, and properly acknowledging the credit for accomplishments. If employees feel like their leaders don’t have integrity, then there will be a strong sense of distrust which could negatively affect moral in an organization and, thus, decrease productivity. Furthermore, when a leader acts with integrity, they in turn command integrity and it set the tone with all employees that they too must operate in that manner.
Being a leader takes courage to make challenging decisions. No matter what company or organization you work for, leaders are faced with challenges that need to be addressed and decisions that need to be made. These challenges can be small in nature—for example, implementing a new day-to-day process for staff. Or, these can be larger tasks, like needing to restructure an entire organization. No matter the size of the challenge, a great leader will have the ability to look at all the facts, make a decision about a challenge within a timely manner, and move forward with confidence.
- Exceptional Communication Skills:
As a follow up to the previous quality of a great leader, successful leaders need to be able to effectively communicate what’s expected of employees once decisions are made. That means being able communicate, through verbal and written communication, any new changes within an organization or new strategies and processes being put into place. Furthermore, they will need to voice any new or adjusted expectations that may be required of employees. Being able to clearly articulate necessary information to employees and an organization as a whole is essential to setting standards in the workplace. This also means being able to engage in open communication with employees. Creating open lines of communication between you and employees is important for understanding any issues or challenges your employees may be facing, and thus taking genuine action to better a situation when necessary.
- Ability to empower employees:
Whether you manage a small group of people or a global organization, as a leader, you are only as good as your employees. Hard-working, loyal, and competent employees are essential to any organization’s success. To achieve that, leaders must empower and inspire employees to be good at their jobs. What does this look like? This means providing them with the tools necessary to do their jobs efficiently. It also means helping them to identify their strengths, and supporting them to eliminate their weaknesses. Good leaders take the time to understand their employees’ professional goals and work with them to achieve them, whether it be giving them tools to learn new skills or allowing them to take on more responsibility. When employees feel valued and supported, they will feel positive about the work they are doing and empowered to do a good job.
Do you have the qualities of a great leader? Or rather, do have the desire to learn the qualities and skills it takes to succeed as leader? If so, a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) is a great next step for you to achieve your professional goals.
An MSOL degree not only paints the picture of what great leadership looks like, but also will provide you with the knowledge and resources to lead with confidence. Contact Goodwin University to learn more about our MSOL program and how it can help you advance your career through effective leadership.
Call 800-889-3282 to learn more, or visit us online for more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.