The hallmarks of a great leader

We all know a great leader when we encounter one. They inspire us, they motivate us, they bring out the best in us. Remember that teacher at school who pushed you to do well at a subject you previously hated? They were a good leader.

Leadership can make or break a business. There are certain traits that are vital to good leadership. The good news is these aren’t genetic, they can be learned.

Let’s look at ten traits good leaders exhibit.

1.They have an overarching goal, purpose and plan

You can’t get others on board if you don’t have a vision and a roadmap for getting there. Good leaders inspire the team with their purpose and their determination to achieve it. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

2.They put their team first

Good leaders are brave. They take the hit for the team, assuming responsibility for mistakes of their subordinates and recognising their achievements. They lead by example with care, empathy and loyalty. They’re not afraid of being authentic and even, at times, vulnerable.

3.They are persistent, focused, and decisive

Giving up doesn’t come easily for the good leader. They relish challenges and the celebration after they succeed. They’re not easily deterred from their mission, but also know when to stop flogging a dead horse.

4.They communicate well

Yes, good old communication. Everyone knows where they stand, what they’re supposed to be doing, what they did well and what they need to do better. Good leaders listen more than they speak. They know their team’s needs and can pre-empt risks and issues as a result.

5.They are flexible

In a world of accelerating change, the new leader must be extremely flexible. If something doesn’t work one way, they try another way. If a project is suddenly stopped, they know that fighting the system won’t achieve anything. Not everything goes to plan. Good leaders roll with the punches.

6.They are roadblock removers

Instead of lauding their power over everyone, a good leader uses his or her influence to remove barriers. They cut through the red tape and allow the team to gain traction and accomplish their mission.

7.The buck stops with them

It’s called responsibility and the good leader has it in spades. They can take criticism and ownership of any problem, looking for a solution to keep momentum up. They are fair and open-minded, tactful and humble, and never play the blame game.

8.They are masters of self-discipline

You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself! Good leaders channel good habits. They have upskilled their time-management and set boundaries to ensure success.

9.They go over and above the call of duty

You’ll never hear a good leader say “that’s not in my job description”! Their passion and desire to achieve their goal ensures they will do what it takes. They are known as extra-milers and achievers.

10.They are creative

No, that doesn’t mean they design motivational posters for the team. It means they find better ways of doing things when the old ways no longer serve the purpose.

Good leaders know their own leadership style and the styles of those around them. If you’d like to hone your leadership skills check out the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Leadership and Management) Level 5 course at eCampus NZ. It covers a whole range of topics for the developing leader. These include effective leadership skills, organisational change, business planning, team management and so much more. Find out more here.

The eCampus NZ learning platform is being closed on 29 February 2024, as part of the completion of the amalgamation into Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga. Therefore, access to courseware for ākonga (learners) will be available for three months post course completion or 29 February 2024, whichever happens first. If you have any questions, please contact eCampus NZ : [email protected] or call 0800 328 269.