What qualities should a leader possess?
If you were to ask this question, some of the most common answers would be charismatic, confident, intelligent, well-spoken, honest etc.
There’s nothing wrong with those qualities. They are some of the most common qualities that a majority of leaders share and it’s no wonder that they are first thing that people think when asked about leadership qualities.
Here are 5 other qualities that are not commonly listed out but leaders should possess anyway.
Sensitivity & Empathy – These are two qualities that go hand in hand. A sensitive and empathetic leader knows what inspires his employees, what motivates them and he knows just what makes them tick. Why? Because he pays attention to the finer details and sees his employees as separate individuals, each of them with their own desires and quirks. He knows what to do when morale is low and is capable of looking at a situation from their perspective as well. Empathy is a leadership quality that endears you to your employees. When they know that you really do care, they will be more than willing to go the extra mile for you.
Intuition – Intuition gets a lot of flak for being a ‘fluffy’ quality. And it’s true. You cannot rely on your ‘gut feel’ all the time, even more so when you are a leader and are responsible for a number of people. However, you cannot ignore it completely as well. Good leaders trust their gut (and rely on it as well) and know right away when a person is wrong fit for the job or if a project is doomed to go south. They consult the data that is available to them and also listen to their intuition when it comes to making decisions.
Level-headed – Leaders are the centre of the organization for better or worse. When the going is good, everyone is happy. But when the bad times hit, everyone looks to the leader for the next move. In times of a crisis, it is especially important for leaders to be level-headed. They essentially have to be the stabilizing centre otherwise everything else is going to very quickly go under. Level-headedness is a wonderful leadership quality to have. It may not be noticed most of the time, but during times of stress or worry, that’s when it comes to the fore.
Self-awareness – Self-awareness is the ability to reflect on yourself and be aware of your own qualities and shortcomings. When presented with information that affects you personally, self-awareness is the quality that allows you to absorb that information without bias and then reflect upon it. A self-aware leader knows when she’s wrong and knows where to draw the line. She does not get angry or upset when she receives criticism related to her leadership skills. Self-awareness is a quality that screams authenticity. And if there’s one thing employees appreciate, it’s a leader who walks the walk and talks the talk.