Do you have what it takes to lead?
This question frequently creeps into the mind of entrepreneurs, as they get ready to make their first hire. Managing your own business is one thing. Hiring the right team to help you accomplish your dreams is something entirely different.
If you are an entrepreneur that has worked alone (i.e. solopreneur) for a good amount of time, the idea of bringing on more people to help you fulfill your company vision may seem daunting. Understanding what it takes to be an exceptional leader can help.
Five Leadership Personality Traits
Here are five personality traits that you must have in order to thrive in a leadership position.
Above all else, an exceptional leader must be aware of his or her behavior, emotions, motivations, and thought processes. Without having a good understanding of where you thrive, and where you need extra help, you cannot be as in tune with yourself as you need to be to lead a team.
Extraordinary leaders understand that they have strengths and weaknesses. By thriving on your strengths, and bringing on people to improve upon your weaknesses, you can lead in the best way possible for you and for your company.
2. Savvy People Skills
Sure, you know how to mingle at a networking event. But do you know how to read a person to know if they will make a great team member?
People skills encompass a variety of skills. People skills can involve connecting with others at events, as well as knowing how to read a person to judge their motivations, character, and overall fit for your company. When you have savvy people skills you can read people correctly, and make smarter hiring decisions.
3. Exceptional Communication Skills
Communication is critical to the success of any company. So it makes sense that communication is one of the most essential traits of an extraordinary leader.
By using communication that is forthright, trustworthy, and timely your team has a better idea of what your expectations are for them and for your small business. This allows your team to understand their roles can support overall company goals. When this happens, your team can utilize each other’s strengths fully. In turn, you get the best results out of your employees.
4. A Positive Mindset
Employees will make mistakes. Something is bound to go wrong in your business. The way you handle it as a leader speaks volumes about you.
For a leader, having a positive mindset to power through the good times and the bad is invaluable. Your team looks to you and feeds off of your attitude. If you exhibit crappy CEO behavior, your team will feel this and take on the same attitude toward their work. In contrast, when you lead with positivity and hope for the future, you encourage your team to think positively about working for your company.
5. Strong Listening Skills
Exceptional leaders listen to employees needs and think ahead to anticipate other ways they can help their team perform their best. When you predict your employees’ needs, you show that you not only listen to them, but that you go above and beyond to care about their happiness.
For example, thinking creatively and providing each member of your team with a standing desk can help them feel better throughout the workday. When a leader provides team members with office equipment that encourages them to do their best, they inspire team members to work harder while also improving employee loyalty.
Leading a team can be a frightening idea. By keeping these personality traits in mind, you can be more aware of how you lead your team, and where you can improve. What other leadership traits would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Kimberly Crossland has managed a number of teams in her career. She loves to write about how to help employees get more out of their careers. To learn about how to help your employees stay healthy at your office, check out the Human Solution.
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