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Leadership Skill List - The Top 10 Traits of successful leaders

Updated on November 27, 2011

What traits would one associate with a good leader ?

There are many different management styles for different types of management roles as well as skill sets that define a successful manager in a specific work environment.

Sales, Labour, Skilled and entrepreneurial enterprise all require a special type of leadership to rally the troops on a regular basis.

Here is a synopsis of the most recognized top 10 skills list that a great leader would need to acquire in order to lead by example and inspiration.

Skill 1 - Courage and confidence

In any managerial environment, the staff that one would command need to have confidence in their leaders ability to provide satisfactory and correct answers and advice to hurdles and strategies needed for success. By having the correct knowledge and confidence in ones industry is of utmost importance for a great leader to have in order to be revered.Courage in ones ability shows in spades to those around you.

Skill 2 - Self Control

A great manager or leader shows reserve in ones judgements and ensures that all the facts are presence before deciding on a suitable course of action to follow. Follow being the keyword as the followers of a leader need to know that their leader has self control in his emotions and or reactions to situations to maintain calm and collective thought necessary for peak performance in any work environment.

Skill 3 - Consistency in Fairness

A good leadership skill that seems to always appear at the top of most employees list is that their leader maintains fair and unbiased justice towards all staff members.

Any favoritism or change in the consistency of appropriate direction for task or the allocation thereof is a sure fire way to loose the confidence of ones followers.

Maintaining this balance can be extremely difficult if the self control mentioned above is not kept in check.

Skill 4 - Definiteness in decisions

A leader who does not show resolve to arrive at prompt and effective decisions will show the lack of this most important leadership skill.

The lack of the decisiveness in decision making will create uncertainty in any followers of a leader. Faith in a leader to arrive at decisions under pressure and calculated with limited resources are what makes good leaders.

Good leaders make quick decisions, but are slow to change their minds once a decision has been made.

Skill 5 - Making plans and sticking to them

The leader is responsible for the tasks and performance measurement of his team. In order to be good at leadership, the team following needs to have a sustainable plan to follow.The leader needs to come up with this plan and constantly be able to perfect it on the move as criteria and targets change.

Plans are allowed to change, but these changes are implemented by the leader in order to effect the best possible outcomes for the team as a whole and sometimes sticking to a plan that never changes is a bad thing. Be general but firm in ones aims and directions for the team to follow as the plan is outlined.

Skill 6 - Always do more than your team expects

One of the key fundamentals in being a good leader is to have your team respect and look up to you. By being the first one in every day and the last one out is not necessarily doing more. You need to sacrifice your own goals sometimes to make time to assist your team in their goals.

By showing the team that you are always willing to do more for them will garner their respect. A good leader is always able to go the extra mile when needed. Filling in as an extra pair of hands with a time sensitive task will go a long way to prove good leadership skills.

Skill 7 - Being approachable

A fantastic leadership quality is to try and always maintain an open door policy with your team.

There are times when staff can not confide in their colleagues or friends and wish to go a little more in depth in to specific parts of their work responsibility.

These make take any form and by being easily appraochable as a leader is critical in understanding the inner dynamics of your team and their potential performances. These insight could enable a breakthrough in certain key areas that are lacking, with the assessment enabling improvement for your team members in their areas of concern.

Skill 8 - Willingness to take responsibility

It is important to remember that a good leader is only as good as his team. In certain instances, there may be incidents that cause failure at tasks. It is imperative to take responsibility for the teams performance as a leader and only afterwards express disapproval or corrective management techniques for the failure.

By simply throwing a team member under the bus as it were, is in no way a show of responsibility for ones team. You need to remember that you have the power to enact your discipline in your own time. Your team will remember your willingness to take the responsibility as the leader, as well as the consequences of your own discipline there after.

Skill 9 - Above average knowledge

It is not only a skill to be good at leading, but the skills needed to understand each tema members role and core function in your team the gives you good leadership skills.

It is important to understand their functions as well as have the knowledge or either experienced first hand what it is that you are expecting them to do. A good leader should always be able to display the knowledge needed for each members function in the team.

Skill 10 - Self Improvement

The ability to always seek ways to improve your skills is one of the most critical in maintaining your position of respect as a good leader within your team.

Possessing a natural ability to manage people is a great skill to have, but being able to understand that there is always room for improvement is more important than the skill itself. Managerial and leadership skills are acquired over time. Personality and character traits are always in need of improvement as stress and monotony can cause these to be lost over time.Always strive to improve yourself to maintain good leadership qualities.

Other areas of interest

You may wish to read more on;

  • Managerial skills
  • Strategic leadership
  • Leadership Theory


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