5 Key Leadership Qualities that Strengthen Businesses
When you think of a ‘leader’, what qualities spring to mind? Power, strength, and ability influence may be high on the list, but research has shown there are some key characteristics that good leaders consistently share.
The definition of integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change”. When we look to those individuals who lead our country, this quality is often found to be lacking. However, most people would agree that being trustworthy and having good morals are essential qualities for a leader.
Being able to share your ideas and plans clearly and effectively, whilst encouraging and inspiring others, is important for any leader. But good communication is much more than this. Being able to listen to what other people have to say, and to hear the truth of a situation, rather than what you want to hear, is fundamental when it comes to leadership.
We’ve all heard the old adage ‘power corrupts’. All too often, when people are elevated to a position of leadership, they can become consumed with greed, wanting to achieve their goals and gain as much as they can for themselves at any cost.
This behaviour is a product of the ego, which seeks to strengthen itself by having more ‘things’, thriving off having more than other people - the perception of being better or richer or stronger than others.
You only have to look at the news on any given day to recognise the vast majority of the world’s leaders are ego-driven. Yet a good, fair leader is able to rise above the needs of the self by becoming consciously aware, by dissolving the ego’s ‘us and them’ mentality, and nurturing compassion for and connection with others, which leads us on to...
The ability to understand other people’s suffering, to walk a mile in their shoes, to fully comprehend how their circumstances affect them, is key for good leadership. To be able to help and guide others, you first need to be able to understand their problems, hopes, fears, desires.
Good leaders will be able to harness this knowledge to take decisive action, implementing changes which ease the suffering of others and contribute positively to society.
Courage isn’t just about facing fears and doing things that scare you; it’s about being brave in the decisions you make. Good leaders understand they can’t always know how things will work out, or foresee all the potential consequences of their actions, but they are able to have the courage to take calculated risks without being guaranteed of success.
All growth happens outside of our comfort zones. Effective leaders will be able to weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and be brave enough to trust themselves and their choices, even if they don’t turn out to be the right ones.
Indecision and inaction can lead to even bigger issues, especially in times of crisis - no-one really needs to be reminded of the UK government’s slow uptake of Covid-19 restrictions in the very beginning of of the pandemic, and the criticism it has faced since then due to the countless lives which could have been saved, if only decisive action was taken sooner.
Leaders aren’t just the people who govern us or make key decisions in our society, they are parents and teachers, carers and nurses, people who help guide and support their communities through integrity, courage, and empathy for other people. Do you possess any of these key leadership skills? What other qualities do you think leaders should have?
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Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including: Business| TV | Music | Publishing, along with author news and events, and giving back to communities.
You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection website, discussing children's books, reading, and all things Green Bean!
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