“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, on leadership

Whether it’s a sales force, a team of auditors or even a professional sports club, there’s always one person – the “go-to-person” – whom your team can go to for advice, guidance and direction. These managers or captains exhibit take-charge traits their staff relies upon to guide them through times of difficulty and to achieve assigned goals.

But what defines leadership? What do staffing firms and consultants identify as traits an effective leader should have?

In a recent issue of Staffing Industry Review, the publication polled a group of recruiting executives in the hopes of identifying what positive traits a leader should have in leading their teams. As a person who may be in the market for a new position or looking for self-improvement, some of these traits were ranked high in the results:

  • Passionate about other people’s advancement and success
  • Learning from failures
  • Goal-oriented and sets reasonable goals to be attained
  • A good listener that’s able to evaluate the information and utilize it going forward
  • Makes informed decisions without hesitation
  • “Big picture” mentality that goes beyond the next day

Either in your department or in your recruiting efforts, finding individuals that display leadership qualities make for great captains in times of troubled waters. They provide guidance and can help provide valuable insight to members of a department who either need a role model or require it.

What do you look for in a leader?