the short story project


Stanley Buford

Ten Most Common Traits in the Character of a Good Leader

A good leader demonstrates passion regarding vision and objectives. S/he is honest and a good manager of resources. S/he expresses ideas and expectations that are not only realistic but rewarding but helps their team improve by being sincere, objective and open.

A good leader is an intuitive hard worker with a thorough understanding of core business objectives. S/he has a keen eye for details, time management and accountability, encouraging focus and discipline among the team members. S/he is open-minded and firm when making decisions. A good leader is organized, thoughtful and forward-thinking, always maintaining the big picture as the primary goal. S/he has both short-term and long-term goals that drive the team’s everyday objectives.

Teams and individuals grow when a leader guides them through responsibilities. A good leader has the ability to trust and delegate tasks to others, creating room for growth and allowing the leader to spend time more effectively. The following is a list of what this writer believes is a blueprint for effective leaders be it church, school, family or major corporation. Conviction is important for a servant leader. The leader must think about the next opportunity, next generation and next leader. S/he must make decisions that can benefit people in the future. Also, the leader should create and implement a long-term strategy that leads to success. Always remember great leaders create leaders! Ask yourself if you support or have the following qualities:


Empathy: Creating a legitimate rapport with your staff makes it less likely that personal issues and resentment can creep in and derail the group. When your team knows that you are empathetic to their concerns, they will be more likely to work with you and share in your vision, rather than foster negative feelings.
Consistency: Being a consistent leader will gain you respect and credibility, which is essential to getting buy-in from the group. By setting an example of fairness and credibility, the team will want to act the same way.
Honesty: Another characteristic of leadership that lends itself to credibility. Those who are honest, especially about concerns, make it far more likely that obstacles will be addressed rather than avoided. Honesty also allows for better assessment and growth.
Direction: Having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things –then the wherewithal to set the steps necessary to get there– is an essential characteristic of good leadership. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there, a good leader can create impressive change.
Communication: Effective communication helps keep he team working on the right projects with the right attitude. If you communicate effectively about expectations, issues and advice, your staff will be more likely to react and meet your goals.
Flexibility: Not every problem demands the same solution. By being flexible to new ideas and open-minded enough to consider them, you increase the likelihood that you will find the best possible answer. You will set a good example for your team and reward good ideas.
Conviction: A strong vision and the willingness to see it through is one of the most important temperaments of leadership. The leader who believes in the mission and works toward it will be an inspiration and a resource to their followers.

·         Vision:  Simply put, know where you are headed. Have a picture of it in your head, and be able to communicate it effectively. This is not the stuff of just a CEO. It is critically important that you be able to paint a vivid picture of where your group or organization is headed. In the end, you should use the vision to motivate and guide action. Make your vision a shared one with your group. Every member of your group should be able to describe a similar picture and communicate it.


·         Engagement:  Be Good at Dealing with Conflict. A cornerstone of working effectively with people is being very good at dealing with conflict. The reality is that conflict is going to happen. People think things should be done in different ways. No surprise. You should even expect it. The trick is not to have conflict be counterproductive. Learn how to successfully resolve conflict and harness the best ideas from people you supervise.


·         Trust:  Be a Trusted Leader. People do want to follow and accomplish great things. All else being equal, a trusted leader will get more from his people and have a stronger following. Be someone your people can trust. It is important to remember that it takes a long time to earn trust; it builds over time. The flipside is that you can lose it quickly.


Remember strong leaders maintain clear, consistent communication with their workforces. Constant communication makes personnel understand the organizations vision and mission and gives them an assurance that they are working towards the desired goals. Communication will always be vital because it is so important in establishing work expectations, giving constructive feedback and cross- training new bodies for work to do in the future. All these qualities are found in the humility of a personality that leads by a positive example that says: “treat people the way you want to be treated”.

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