Leadership – The 5 most important qualities and characteristics

“A leader is one, who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”

John C. Maxwell

This blog is about the big topic of leadership. A term that is often used in business. What exactly is behind this word and how can companies and employees best benefit from good leadership?

We have defined for you the five-character traits that a leading person must possess in order to ensure the success of the team and ultimately of the company.

In order to establish the basis on which we will address the five traits, it is important to first define what leadership is.

What is leadership?

There are so many definitions and opinions about what leadership is and what it ultimately consists of. In defining leadership, we refer to the above quote from John C. Maxwell. Ultimately, leadership is about leading the way, representing values, and communicating them to the outside world. In doing so, it is important for managers to motivate their employees for the set goal that is ultimately to be achieved. However, there is no one definition that sums up the word leadership. 

Here is one that we think is good and hits the key points:

\”Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization and to achieve a goal.\”

Based on the answer of what leadership means, we will now show you five characteristics that we think make good leaders.

1. Vision

Nothing works without a vision! Above all, you need a vision to have a clear idea of their work and to motivate themselves and ideally their employees to pursue it. Visions can be of decisive importance for strategic planning. Goals can be derived from them, which can be achieved more quickly. The goals, in turn, give rise to the work steps that are necessary to achieve the goal more quickly.

In summary, we can say that the vision gives you the sense. Goals can be derived from the vision, which in turn can be used to determine work steps.

Leaders automatically think more into future because of the clear vision, rather than dwelling on the present or the past.  In the case of everyday problems, the leader thinks more rationally and positively, because they see the problem only as a small hurdle on the way to the big goal. This automatically transfers to the team they lead.

Small tip:

As a leader, ask yourself: Where do I want to be with my team in 3-5 years? Imagine it and keep this image in mind during your daily work. Your daily actions will transfer to your team and they will also act as you model. 

2. Communicate

In order to communicate the vision to every employee, communication is the decisive outlet for success within the team. What many people forget in this regard is that communication consists not only of verbal exchange, but also of facial expressions, gestures, and the posture you project to the outside world. The latter is mainly used to relate to other people. Facial expressions and gestures connect more than the content that is exchanged among each other.

As a person who leads, it is even more important to build a relationship with your team. That is why communication (verbal, facial expressions, gestures, body language) is one of the most important skills that every good team leading person should have.

3. Courage

Another very important quality of good leaders is courage. Courage to make decisions and take risks without the certainty that these risks will bring the desired success in the end.

\”The courage of leadership is giving others the chance to succeed even though you bear the responsibility for getting things done.\” – Simon Sinek

Through your courage, your employees can ultimately benefit. You are the one who bears the responsibility for the decisions made. Your team can develop more because of the risks you take and will work more successfully as a result.

4. Honesty/trust

Honesty is also part of a leader\’s repertoire. The consequences of a lack of honesty are usually devastating since the truth usually comes out when it is already too late. Therefore, it is above all the manager\’s task to set an example by directly addressing problems and things that bother them.

At the first moment, this may be unpleasant. However, the consequences that are avoided as a result will be much worse.

Honesty builds trust! By giving employees clear feedback, they know exactly where they are with you and that you are honest with them. Most of the time, open and honest communication fosters trust within the team and has a positive impact on every employee.

5. Humility

Many people think that it is the manager\’s job to show strength and assert themselves – on the contrary. We believe that in today\’s world, humility and modesty are more important. By holding back your ego, you can draw much more conclusions for yourself and your team.  Ultimately, the main task of the leader is to achieve the given goal. This also means admitting that another person may have more expertise than you in a particular area. Let that person take the initiative because he or she can get you and your team to the goal faster.

By being humble to your team, you are not showing weakness. It shows your team that you are putting your own ego aside to achieve the goal you set together, and you can do it together. You give each team member more opportunities to develop themselves. Therefore, humility brings you advantages as a leading person in many ways.

Short summary

Leading a team is one of the central building blocks for success in the company. That is why the listed character traits of a leading person are particularly important. Of course, there are many other traits that are important for leading a team, but we believe that these five are the most representative.

In your opinion, is there an important trait we missed?

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