Leaders, managers, professionals, lend me your ears. Every leader is unique but are there essential qualities that effective leaders share? This is a very subjective question, as many professionals value different qualities in their leaders. But here are 5 core qualities that we have found lend themselves to strong leadership potential.

1. Leaders Are Trustworthy: whether trust is built through your transparency, integrity, or dependability, you must build trusting relationships with those who report to you, your peers, and your bosses. Without that trust, people will not look to you for guidance or professional support.

2. Leaders Are Effective Communicators: The ability to effectively communicate needs, wants, and directions is a core trait of successful leaders. This also lends itself to understanding your audience. Knowing how different people absorb information and tweaking your communication methods to most effectively get your point across will allow you to work successfully in cross-functional settings.

3. Leaders Are Mentors: Do you strive to cultivate greatness in others? Highlighting people’s strengths and core competencies through their work is a crucial aspect of a sterling leader. Also, working to strengthen weaknesses or areas for improvement to build the strongest team possible. If you’re in a management position, take the time to assess individual team member strengths and weaknesses. By building development plans around these weaknesses, you will help further cultivate your leadership skills, and strengthen your team overall.

4. Leaders Have Emotional Awareness: Leaders and managers are people too. We look up to managers that aren’t made of stone and can display empathy, emotion, and understand the same in others. The best leaders know when to appeal to emotion and when best to remain rational. The ability to practice self-control and understand how to work with others’ emotions is a core competency of top leaders. They don’t view emotion as a weakness but as a tool and a bridge to closing the gap between people. Know when to use emotion strategically based on the situation, people, and environment.

5. Leaders Inspire Others: This requires passion. The Martin Luther King Jr’s of the world are able to captivate and spur people into action simply through their own energy. While many of us can only aspire to this level of inspiration, the ability to drive others and motivate them with your infectious drive and passion is in essence what a great leader does. If you’re naturally passionate for your career, a specific project, or a new idea, you will find others around you are energized by your energy and dedication.

 

Burchard & Associates specializes in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.

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