Are you leading or is your team bleeding? What qualities of a good leader do you already possess and where should you focus to improve your leadership skills? These are questions you’ll be able to answer after reading this article.

Investing in your leadership qualities can generate huge benefits. Not only do you experience higher self-esteem and genuine satisfaction from your work, so will your team members. The success of your business will, of course, be the real icing on the cake for everyone.

See the ‘qualities of a good leader’ and ‘an effective team’ below, but first I’ll cover the qualities of a ‘bleeding team’ and ‘an ineffective leader’. Where do you see yourself and your team?

Qualities of an ineffective team (bleeding team)

Team members may:

  • Exhibit low morale
  • Be fearful
  • Be tired
  • Lack initiative
  • Be self-focused rather than team and company focused
  • Be unproductive
  • Be unable to get along with each other
  • Play the blame game
  • Produce low-quality work
  • Waste time

Qualities of an ineffective leader

An ineffective leader may be:

  • Indecisive
  • Disorganised
  • Micro-managing staff
  • Ego-driven
  • Unapproachable to staff
  • Authoritative
  • Task-focused
  • Divisive
  • Short-sighted
  • A poor listener
  • Emotionally disconnected

Qualities of a good leader

1.     Outcomes-focused

People are all different and while many may want details on ‘how’ to generate the outcomes, a lot of self-motivated people will want to adapt and work out the best ways for them to reach the desired results. Being a leader who focuses on the outcomes and allows your team to work out the best way to get there enables team members to become creative, explorative and adaptive, and leads to greater satisfaction for team members.

2.     Strategic

Being strategic in leadership requires the ability to plan for long-term growth while maintaining short-term financial stability. It requires a unique ability to foresee and manage for future opportunities and threats alongside laying the pathway for the overall business vision.

3.     Inspiring

A good leader can inspire passion within his or her team. Being a passionate leader is excellent, but on its own, it is not enough. A good leader can encourage their whole team to similarly feel and act on the passion for the business vision and mission.

4.     Effective communicator

A successful leader is an effective communicator. You’ll be an active listener, be generous with your time and be present, build trust and rapport – relationships, be clear and succinct, good at asking questions and providing feedback and most of all, be empathetic.

5.     Emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence is one of the essential qualities of a good leader. Most successful leaders are skilled in this area.

Emotional intelligence is about having personal awareness around your own emotions and behaviour and having the self-management skills to manage your behaviour and tendencies positively. It also includes social awareness around other people’s moods, behaviours and motives and being able to respond effectively to improve those relationships.

This article gives a good overview of the essential habits of highly emotionally intelligent people.

6.     Highly organised and systematic

Systems are essential for time, quality and efficiencies management. They save time and provide for continual improvement and updating. Without them, you’ll be continually covering old ground and fail to move forward.

As a leader, you’ll be in high demand. Managing your time and being highly organised around your tasks is imperative. Otherwise, you will be thrown from one fire to the next and drift away from your most high value and strategic functions that should have your focus.

7.     Consistent

All good leaders maintain consistency around actions and behaviours within the business and relationships, which is particularly important when dealing with individual team members. All team members are treated the same – consistently.

8.     Has an open door policy

A good leader is approachable. Open door policy is essential for team mentoring, skill building, systems improvements and relationship. A good leader is also mindful of how to manage their open door policy, so it doesn’t interfere with their productivity.

9.     Confident

Being seen as confident provides a calming effect on your team. You may not always feel confident, but your team needs to think that you are.

A confident leader is decisive, and even if those decisions turn out to be wrong decisions, you’ll confidently admit to your mistake and go about making new choices to move forward.

Building self-confidence will help you become a more confident leader.

10.  Informed

As a good leader, you’ll stay up to date with facts and information and feed it through to your team.

If you are demonstrating the qualities above, then you are an effective leader, and your team should reflect the qualities of an effective team.

Qualities of an effective team

When your team is no longer running around leaking time, chasing their tail and unsure of their role, they become a much more effective team, and these are the qualities that you can expect them to be demonstrating:

  • Proactive
  • Collaborative
  • Confident
  • Supportive
  • Productive
  • Motivated
  • Focused
  • Intuitive
  • Efficient

How do you shape us a leader?

After assessing yourself and your team against the qualities outlined for a bleeding team, an ineffective leader, an effective team and the qualities of a good leader, how do you stack up? Where could you focus to improve your qualities of a good leader?

Leave me a comment below.

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