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What are the qualities that make a great leader?

Are great leaders born or made?

The debate has raged for many years, but there are definitely some qualities that great leaders share. Here we look at the qualities we feel are found in a great leader’s toolkit.

Being focused

Great leaders are focused on the job in hand and make sure the people around them are similarly driven to succeed. Using time efficiently and cutting to the chase, they focus on the strengths that they and their team can provide.

Being humble

Rather than being the loudest voice in the room, great leaders are confident in their abilities and have a strong sense of self without having overinflated egos. They recognise the strengths and value of those around them and are not afraid to admit now and again that they were wrong.

Being courageous

Possibly the most identifiable quality, courage is what makes leaders stand out from the crowd. Taking strategic risks to deliver success is food and drink to a great leader. Whilst there is never a 100 percent chance of success, their courage opens the doors for many others to pass through.

Being honest

Honesty and integrity are of paramount importance to great leaders. Being upfront with clients, colleagues, competitors and suppliers is the only way they operate, making for stronger relationships, no blurred lines, and a defined and fully-understood modus operandi.

Being a team player

Realising that they can’t do everything themselves in another identifiable quality. Drafting in the right people at the right time to deliver success, great leaders can gain strong commitment from others in a spirit of cooperation and joint endeavour for shared reward. They quickly build rapport and respect with others and are not afraid to take a back seat when others more capable in a particular situation step up.

Being a thinker

Strategic planning occupies a huge amount of time for great leaders. They have the skills to assess and plan ahead to determine whether things are going in the right direction and to get everyone on board should change be necessary. The best spot market trends ahead of the competition and organise themselves and their teams to fully capitalise.

Being a visionary

Not everyone in a great team is a leader. Whilst many will be great managers and will make a huge and vital contribution, the leader will be the one who always has one eye on the prize. They make sure that the vision of success is well communicated, bought into and delivered, bringing the best from their teams and identifying how they best work.

Whilst some of these qualities may be genetic, it is fair to say that all of them can be gained with experience, education and awareness. Are you the great leader in your organisation?

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