Anyone can try to lead, but it takes a lot to be a successful leader. You have to give people a reason to want to follow you, and most of this comes from certain characteristics that are within.
There’s a difference between giving people orders and having people who want to seek out your guidance. When people choose to listen to you and follow your advice, it means that you are a natural leader that has proved their value to others.
In order to be a successful leader, you should have these five character traits.
A successful leader has to be able to thoughtfully and effectively make decisions. As the person that people look up to, a leader must provide direction for the goals of the organization as well as the employees.
Being highly analytical, they know how to assess a situation and use their best judgment to come to a smart conclusion. Leaders made educated decisions based on their insights and facts.
In order to be a successful leader, you have to think of the future. This means that you have a vision and know-how to articulate it to others in the organization. In order to stay on the cutting edge, leaders will seek continuous knowledge of project management and overall development.
This can come in the form of professional certifications and training courses, such as a CAPM certificate or PMP certification. CAPM exam prep, for example, requires rigorous study and researching the latest trends. The same goes for the PMP exam, which demands hours of project management education.
Whether online training or attending a physical project management institute, expanding your knowledge area will keep a leader ahead of the curve.
A leader needs to be passionate about their mission and vision, showing depth to their followers. If people do not see their leader excited, they will not be either. This can be especially important in a startup environment, though leaders of large corporations also need to make sure their passion trickles down to all stakeholders.
This enthusiasm can be displayed by always embodying the core pillars or values of the company. Going above and beyond to show that you believe in ideas and certain efforts are important for the overall success and longevity of a business.
If you want to be a leader that is loved as well as respected, being empathetic is key. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of others and understand their situations creates strong, lasting bonds. Happy employees are the ones that stay remain with a company the longest, so aside from the ethical aspect of empathy it also helps with retention.
On a larger scale, the best leaders are empathetic to much larger, global issues that also have various impacts on their direct reports. For example, Vivek Ramaswamy, the founder, and CEO of Roivant Sciences has outwardly expressed his opinions on the importance of testing during COVID. With millions of coronavirus cases in the United States alone, having a leader step up and speak on the matter is impactful.
Being able to inspire others is a key trait of any good leader. Without being able to motivate others, a leader would not have any followers. That is why being a good person and also providing a blueprint for others to do the same will only help a leader garner more support. There are plenty of ways to inspire others, whether it be with morale-boosting activities or positive reinforcement. Being genuine and someone that others can look up to makes for the most successful type of leader.