Personality Traits of a Leader

Personality Traits of a Leader
It goes without saying that a solid leader can make or break a team, in many cases being the single most influential factor in employee satisfaction. Did you know that nearly eight out of 10 people surveyed reported that they quit their bosses and not their jobs? That statistic is startling for many leaders. What are we doing wrong? Many of us can recall the leaders we’ve worked with in the past, whether it was the inspirational one who helped you build the career you have today, or the one you may have quit with poor leadership skills that inspired you to prove there’s more to leadership than just power and delegating subordinates. So what separates the two?

Passion and Inspiration
It’s an obvious differentiator, but an important one. Without the passion for what you’re doing, you’re not going to inspire the same passion in your team. In The Huffington Post’s article titled, “The Leadership Philosophy of 3 P’s: Passion, Purpose, People,” these three P’s and how they work hand in hand is explored. The attitude your team takes comes from the top down—your team will be influenced by your passion, so be sure you’re doing something you love.

Open Communication
Let’s face it, when your employees aren’t happy, if you’re not a strong leader, you won’t be the first to know. By encouraging open communication straight from the start, you’ll gain their trust and have a better shot at steering the ship in the direction you want it to go. Reliable Planet’s article on whyCommunication is the most important key to leadership, makes the point that, “… if you fail to do this properly, you can poison the atmosphere between you and a colleague, as well as your company’s morale.” Keep an open-mind and accept feedback. Great leaders know how to communicate openly and effectively.

Involvement
I’m not saying you need to be towering over your employees all the time and monitoring every move; in fact, studies have shown that micromanaging affects the productivity of your employees in a negative way. What I am saying is that talking to your employees is important. Engage them—what is most important to them in life? Do they love what they do? Do they want to try something new? Do they want to attend seminars to help them improve their career? Find out, ask questions, and help them become the best employee they can be.

Sense of Humor
We all know we have a job to do, but it doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. In fact, humor is an important part of keeping up employee morale in the office. Humor creates a comfortable, healthy and happy space. Humor can also help soften the intensity following a major mistake. Mistakes happen; there’s no escaping them. However, humor can play a critical role in helping one of your employees recover from the blow of a major error.

A sense of awareness is key to being a powerful leader. Understanding when your passion is shining through and inspiring your employees, understanding when to engage employees, and understanding when humor is appropriate will help take your leadership skills to the top.

Natalie Spiro
Event Facilitator at Drum Cafe