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What makes Good Leaders Great: 13 Leadership Traits to Adopt Today

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As someone responsible for the success of a project, leaders are at the helm of upholding the vision of the organization. This necessitates bringing team members together to work at their best capability and assisting them to push their potential.

To lead is to mentor.

Good leaders put in the legwork and support their team members at every stage. Great leaders go a few steps further on how they achieve it.

Here are 13 qualities great leaders imbibe to build teams charted for success.

Build a team mindset. Start with ‘We’ not ‘I’

Teams work together best when they believe in the vision of what they’re working towards. Instilling the belief in your team builds a team mindset. Mentor should be mindful of how they bring their team together through communication. Give credit to people for their work where it’s due.

Move from “I did it” to “we did it.”
Remember, it’s a team effort.

Work together to identify, define and implement

Team members across different domains can offer different perspectives on the same thing. By working together on the drawing board- all members will feel like a part of the story from the beginning to the end no matter how big or small their role is. This helps people take ownership of tasks and brings equal responsibility for success and failure.

Teams that are on the same page about the knowledge they share on a project can identify innovative ideas to implement for growth.

Think and do

Work as a team in quick sprints by making sure the team is on the same page and involved in the objective setting. Work together to understand the challenge, build the strategy, execute and come back to the table to improve. Sprints are gamified, engaging, and balanced between thinking and doing.

Sprints are a great way to work. It rids of the lethargy that comes from long ideating processes and gives a creative breathing room for teams to explore and improve.

Delegate tasks

When everyone on your team is aware of their responsibilities, they deliver. Assessing their capabilities and communicating the task delegated on the back of those traits pushes them to do their best. Delegating tasks also shows your confidence in the peer’s ability to take a good call.

You know what your team members can accomplish even when they’re unsure. Show them your confidence.

Set clear expectations

After identifying and defining, and delegating tasks- set your expectations of the project and communicate them with the team.

Let the team know what is expected of the project.

Encourage freedom of speech

A good decision comes from listening to as many perspectives as possible. Everyone should be encouraged to share their viewpoint and brainstorm on the solution. When teams stop having opposing viewpoints, the decision made is not always the best for the shared goal.

Narrowing down to a decision should be merit-based but should be adaptive to different possibilities that could arise.

Encourage experimentation

Creative ideas should always be encouraged. Trying and failing to give room for better ideas makes the best products tick in the market.

Enable your team to push the threshold of what is to what can be.

Presentations can be creative too

Let people define their style of pitching their ideas in the best way they can. This gets rid of the monotony of similar presentations over and over again.

Ideas are inspiring. let teams decide the best way to communicate them.

Build a learning culture

Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge to give peers a chance to build on the knowledge they have in areas that interest them. Eventually, they’ll bring that passion into everything they do on projects.

Give your peers time to explore and experiment in areas they feel passionate about

Command respect the right way

It’s important to prioritize commanding respect from your peers. Respect comes, not through position but instead through your knowledge, how you articulate it, and how you navigate difficult situations.

Building horizontal relationships are key to better interpersonal relationships.

Lead by example

Put in the hours and the effort you’d want your peers to put in. True inspiration comes from watching your peers work hard and enjoy what they do.

To lead is to work harder than everyone else on the team.

Listen to your team

Make sure your peers feel heard when they bring something up and enable them to take action or act on their concerns.

Listening and helping are not always the same thing. Understand the situation and do what helps your peers be back on the same page and work their best.

Take tough calls and have peers around when you take critical decisions

It’s important to take tough calls when something isn’t working out for the team or the organization. Consider everyone’s opinion but know the decision-making rests with you if the opinions are not unanimous. The decision-making should be logic-driven and not emotion-driven and should be done sternly but empathetically through healthy logic-driven conversations. Taking those critical calls with peers around shows them how to take tough decisions when they are in the same situation.

Working out the decision by communicating through logic-driven reasoning ensures the decision is well thought off and involves the team in the decision-making.

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Vaishnavi Kumar

Vaishnavi Kumar

Design researcher, strategic designer, and an avid bird watcher on a quest to find connections between human and bird societies. twitter/@vaishnavikumarr

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