10 Characteristics of Steadfast Leaders Jonathan Herrick You instantly know when you’re in the company of a strong leader. They exude a certain quality that makes everyone stop and check themselves to ensure they are representing themselves and their organization in the very best way possible. While leaders can be exceptionally different when compared at face value, there are a number of similar traits which dynamic leaders have in common. Effective Communication Being able to communicate efficiently needs to be at the top of the list. You rarely meet a strong leader who is unable to communicate persuasively. Leaders are quick to inspire and motivate their team through their words, yet on the same token, come across as excellent listeners. They maintain an open door policy so their team has the chance to speak to them whenever they need, and gain feedback if necessary. Confidence Strong leaders are self-assured and prepared for whatever challenges come their way. They are not arrogant, just quietly committed to whatever lies ahead. If they do get nervous, they have learned to hide it well. Good leaders are only too happy to credit their team for the work that has been done. They also know that the success of their team is a reflection of their personal success. Accountability While a leader may be able to relax and let their hair down with their colleagues, they continuously maintain a sense of responsibility for all their actions and that of others. When things are going well, they are quick to praise and encourage. And rather than attach blame to others when things go wrong, they look for a solution to the problem. Determination Strong leaders are determined, and once they commit to something, they are always prepared to see it through until the very end. They don’t give up at the first sign of trouble and aren’t afraid to make smart and calculated risks. They stick it out and do what needs to be done to get back on track. Flexibility and laser-focus are two of their greatest strengths. Consistency Consistency is important – both in a leader’s actions and their expectations of others. A leader cannot constantly be flip-flopping between dual sets of corporate desires and aims. It can be incredibly demoralizing for a team that has worked tirelessly on a project only to be told that the leader has changed their mind and is heading in another direction. Compassion Strong leaders are supportive and generous. Richard Branson is a wonderful example of a leader who is genuinely interested and concerned about the people who work for him. A good leader mentors and leads when the time is right and supports those who are driving the organization forward. They understand that at times their actions speak louder than words. Honesty Honesty is a great trait in any individual but particularly one who holds down a position of power. A team will follow their leader anywhere if they know their actions are motivated by solid ethics and integrity. When a leader acts honestly, their team will follow suit. Inauthentic people will send signals of doubt through the office. Alternatively, when a leader’s words and actions match, the overall confidence of the team will increase. Collaboration Strong leaders are delighted to ask others for help in solving a problem. They understand that everyone has different strengths, and by utilizing them, allows them to be the best leader they can be. They have no intention of hogging any limelight and are always on the lookout for talented members to join their team. They just want to find the best solution using whatever available tools they have to hand. They also aren’t afraid to show their weaknesses and tap into the strengths of others. Organization A great leader knows that a well thought out plan is behind everything they do. They tend to have a solid grasp on the overall picture and can delegate as necessary to get the job done. Also, they are not afraid to pitch in and help and will not ask something of others if they are not willing to do it themselves. They have a clear vision, are extremely passionate, and eager to ensure the team is working as best as they can to achieve the organization’s goals. Forward-Thinking While success is always at the forefront of a leader’s mind, they don’t take unnecessary shortcuts to achieve it. They know that their actions will slowly bring them to their goal without jeopardizing their achievements on the way. They trust their team to do the work without the need to micromanage because direction and expectations were clearly laid out at the outset. Wouldn’t it be great if these traits could be bottled? Bad leaders can do more than destroy a company; they can also inhibit the growth and the accomplishments of their team members. Many of these habits may take practice, but it is worth the time, effort and money in developing the skills of your future leaders. Effective leaders will take your business to the next level, so focus on skill building and leadership training to guarantee the future prosperity of your organization.