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Qualities of Strong Leadership You Should Embrace

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 5/18/2011

There are many qualities that determine whether someone will be leader. To find out what makes a good leader, one can use common sense. Among qualities leaders should have are dependability, courage, organization, diplomacy and general likability. Learn more about leadership qualities here.

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    Don't Overlook the Importance of Developing Your Personality Qualities!

    It takes time to become an effective and successful leader. Luckily, the skills and personality traits required can be developed over time. While some people are born leaders, the willingness to work on improving skills is the most important quality. By learning about different leadership traits, one can make a professional development plan to develop those skills. Some of the qualities that go into making a leader good at what he or she does include:

    • The ability to communicate well
    • Good organization skills
    • Honesty and Integrity
    • The ability to set and reach goals
    • The ability to mentor others
    • Commitment to professional development
    • Creativity
    • Are fans of other good leaders
    • Surround themselves with effective team members
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    Can I Talk to You for a Moment?

    Good leaders have good communication skills, which is important considering how much they have to communicate to their team members. They not only know how to deliver important information, but they also facilitate effective team communication and are good listeners. Another part of communicating that is important for effective leaders is the ability to write clearly and create informative documents and presentations. Finally, good communication involves knowing when to disseminate information to others and when to keep information to one's self until the appropriate time.

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    Wow, Your Desk is Clean!

    Good organizational skills are also essential. One of the key differences between managing others and leading others involves organizational skills. Organizational skills leaders should perfect if they want to become great leaders include time management, project management, and a willingness to delegate work to team members. Delegation is especially important as a means of becoming a great leader because it allows the ability to free up time for tasks that are priorities or tasks that only the project manager can undertake.

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    Honest Abe?

    Do you display honesty and integrity in your work? If you're looking to improve your leadership skills, do not plagiarize from other sources, and do not cheat or lie to others. By modeling honesty and integrity, not only do leaders gain the trust of their followers, but they also demonstrate the standards they wish to hold others to. It's rare - if ever - that a leader receives commendations when he or she isn't honest or doesn't have integrity. Work hard to be genuine in every action and don't take advantage of situations. Take time to build trust in others by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

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    Reach What You...Reach For

    Another important quality of strong leaders is the ability to set and reach goals. It is important for leaders to be able to reach and achieve what they set out to accomplish. Leaders who are extraordinary know that all goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. When developing goals, successful leaders write goals down and they develop a system to monitor progress on goal achievement. Whether setting personal, professional, or project objectives, successful leaders are consistent and aggressive in meeting goals, achieving objectives, and overcoming challenges.

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    Teach Others You Must

    While you might not have Jedi powers, you should see yourself as a teacher of others. Leaders who are successful possess the ability and skill to mentor others. Mentoring is an important part of leadership. Leaders may set up mentoring meetings, or they may work one-on-one with employees to help develop skills. Mentoring is a vital part, not only of leadership, but of a company's success because it gives employees skills they otherwise wouldn't have. Mentoring allows leaders to impart their specialized knowledge gained through experience to other employees.

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    Applying New Knowledge to Old Problems

    What makes the difference between an okay leader and a great leader is the ability to take an old problem and apply new knowledge to it. In other words, be current on the literature in your field. Know where to find new research, subscribe to industry journals, and continuously work on their own professional development and implementing what you have learned in the workplace. Through working hard to continuously improve, leaders benefit their companies and those who depend upon them in the workforce.

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    All I Need is Gum and Some Sticks - and It's Fixed!

    Another important part of leadership involves creativity. Creativity helps leaders to solve problems, come up with innovative products, and to break the project up into milestones that make sense. Project managers who are great leaders see project management as both an art and a science, and they work hard to ensure that projects are completed. What makes this possible is creativity - creativity is necessary in planning, initiating, and executing projects effectively. When faced with a challenge, these leaders look for novel solutions and think outside of the box.

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    We're Not Worthy!

    Effective leaders look up to other great leaders for inspiration and motivation. It is important to know who you look up to, what that person has done to be successful, and then adapt your inspirational leader's strategies into your own life. By having someone to look up to, leaders can both model the behavior of those who are inspirational and they can learn new techniques for effective leadership that can be incorporated into other organizations. Moreover, when you read the biographies of leaders you admire, you may find ways you can make your projects more successful.

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    I Pick You to Help Us Succeed

    Finally, it is important to build effective teams. If a leader has a poor team, it will be harder for him or her to be successful. By spending some time on team-building activities, leaders can help learn about their team members, and see how team members work with one another. It's not enough to lead others, effective leaders look at those they lead as being valuable and as having something important to add to the team. Leaders who look at themselves as coaches, or team captains as opposed to monarchs are more likely to be effective leaders.

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    References

    What Makes a Good Leader http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com/

    Image courtesy of sxc.hu/gallery/PixelCake

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