"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." Warren Bennis (American scholar and author)

Every organisation boasts great leaders. You may never see yourself fulfilling a leadership role, especially when you just join an organisation, but you don't really ever know when your chance to lead may come knocking at your door. That is why it is important to always showcase good leadership qualities from the time that you are employed at a particular organisation.

What are good leadership skills? How is it that some people have leadership qualities and others don't?

You could argue that the extent of the formal education that you have acquired impacts whether you are a good leader or not. So that would mean that a person who has obtained a Masters degree is far better at leading others than those within an organisation who have only acquired a bachelors degree. Studying at a Masters level allows you to gain the necessary skills that will help you to lead but it is not always people who hold a masters degree that is chosen for leadership positions. While formal education does benefit everyone, leadership qualities do not necessarily mean that the more you study, the better a leader you will become.

So that means that you too could have to step into a leadership role at some time or the other. No need to get sweaty palms and feel nervous, you can easily acquire the necessary leadership traits that you will need to possess in order to start commanding respect.

In this regard, Superprof has got your back, we will provide you with all the tips that you need to become a better leader as well as give you a hint as to what the secret ingredient is to be a better leader.

Shall we get started on our journey towards putting the leadership reigns in your hands?

Do it anyway
Do it anyway. Show your boss you have good leadership skills even if you are not in a leadership role. Source: Unsplash

What Are Some Leadership Traits That You Need To Have?

It is hard to specify exactly which character traits a leader ought to possess in order to be a great leader. The discussion of which qualities make a good leader has often been debate upon and it is almost impossible to pinpoint just one trait that you need to have as a leader.

American personal growth author, John C. Maxwell states, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."

Using these inspirational words from the author, we can safely say that a leader must be someone who, "knows the way" towards managing himself or herself. To be an ideal leader, you must be able to set goals for yourself and actually accomplish these goals. You cannot expect to lead others if you are in no way responsible yourself. You must show that you can manage your time well, meet deadlines, control your emotions, and turn weaknesses into possible strengths. If you constantly showcase these traits in your work environment, getting people to follow under your leadership will not be difficult in any way.

You must also be able to, "go the way."To be able to go anywhere both personally and professionally, you have to be a forward and strategic thinker. You must not have your visions and ideals set in stone. Due to our fast-paced world, you must be able to adjust your strategy, vision and ideals at the drop of a hat in order to reap the benefit of newer opportunities. To a certain extent, going the full way as a leader means that you must also be daring enough to take strategic risks. A strategic thinker is someone who is curious to seek out new ventures and avenues that could add benefit. As a strategic thinker, you must have a flexible mindset and always focus on the future.

A good leadership trait to possess is the ability to show others the way. A leader is not someone who is self-serving but someone who can aid the personal development of others within his or her team. In order to show other people the way towards success, you must be able to communicate effectively. As a leader, you must be able to effectively communicate with your staff and explain to them what their tasks entail and how they can reach any goals that have been set. Another trait that you must have, other than being an effective communicator, is that you must be able to build a strong team. Having a strong team or teams under your leadership means that you are doing a good job of being a leader. Provide incentives that will motivate the staff working under you. Constantly appreciate and appraise their efforts and hard work.  Always keep your doors open for team members to air their grievances and share their aspirations.

A leader helps others too
A good leader works with employees to achieve success. Source: Unsplash

Do you have some of these traits? Do you wish to gain these traits? What does being a leader mean?

Where can you take leadership training in South Africa?

Leadership is a Responsibility

Think about this: Does being a good leader mean that the employees working under you will perform better?

The answer is yes!

If you are an authoritative leader and you do not give your employees the chance to do better or grow themselves, then surely your employees will not perform well. If you are more democratic in your leadership style, then your employees will constantly want to better themselves because they respect you and your transparency as a leader.

You must constantly remember that as a leader, you hold an immense amount of power in your hands. You have the power to motivate your staff to perform well, and you have the power to demotivate your staff and break their morale.

So in essence, being a leader means taking full responsibility over whether your organisation will thrive or not, as well as whether your employees will thrive or not.

Knowing that leadership is a responsibility, you may be wondering what are the leadership skills and qualities that you will need to have as a responsible leader?

Here is some advice on how you can start developing leadership skills as well as the methods of developing the leadership skills necessary to be defined as a good leader.

The Definition of Leadership Skills and Qualities

Leadership skills and qualities can be defined as the behaviours that someone displays. The truth is that one cannot exactly be taught leadership skills and qualities, but these traits are something you naturally begin to display once you have been given the chance to be a leader.

Leadership skills and qualities are displayed in a way that may be inspirational for others. People who tend to motivate others as well as inspire others tend to naturally exude an aura of being phenomenal leaders and people who others want to look up to.

Luckily for you, we have written an article on how you can start developing your leadership.

So do you have the right skills and qualities to be considered for a leadership position? How motivated are you to constantly obtain certificates and pursue courses that are beneficial for your personal development? Are you constantly looking for new ways to better your personal development and better your understanding of things?

Become a leader
Be the leader you would like to be. Source: Unsplash | Rob Walsh

The Key Ingredient You Need to Gain Leadership Skills and Qualities

In a Forbes article penned by Kelsey Meyer, it was said that "Leaders must be learners." We wholehearted agree with this phrase. It is easy to think that being "power-hungry" simply means wanting to control and be in charge of other people. The words, "power-hungry" can mean whatever you want it to mean. For us, being "power-hungry" has a positive connotation, in that once you gain some power within your organisation, you seek the chance to taste what learning more things could mean for your powerful position. Power-hungry people are also those who have a natural hunger for more knowledge which will inevitably lead to being more powerful as leaders.

Read about leadership skills
To be a good leader, you must be willing to learn more and read more about leadership. Source: Unsplash

As a leader, you can only gain better leadership skills by listening to those who are leaders. Listen to speeches given by other famous leaders. How did they move the masses by the words that they said? How did they speak to and address other people?

You can read books written by other leaders or inspirational personalities. Have meaningful discussions about topics that you read about with other managers and leaders. Gain tips and tricks that you have read about from books that have been written by successful leaders. If you have read of a leader who used "open door policy" to make employees feel more comfortable, try the same. Communicate with your employees after trying the open door policy to see how they feel about it. If they feel supported then make sure to keep up the idea of having an open door. If your employees do not see much benefit of having the open door policy, look for new inspiration by reading about what skills and qualities another leader has displayed that yielded positive results.

Sometimes gaining the skills and traits to be a better leader means re-learning what you already learnt.

A good leader is open-minded, so be open-minded about learning more once you become a leader!

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Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.