We take a look at some of the most important characteristics leaders can possess if they’re hoping to achieve success and inspire confidence in their leadership abilities.

two people shaking hands in office

Strong leadership is something almost everyone has an opinion on; how do we assess whether a leader is successful or otherwise? Which widely-known leadership figures are doing a good job – and which aren’t?

Perhaps one of the most pondered aspects of leadership are the skills a great leader exhibits.

With so many different layers to senior management roles and often a wealth of challenges to face along the way, here are five qualities that every leader should demonstrate and aspire to refine if they’re looking to inspire confidence in their abilities and achieve success in their career.

1. Decisiveness

The ability to make decisions, particularly when under pressure, is an important skill to master. When you’re in a position of power, people will look to you to make the ‘right’ decision, so it’s vital to take all relevant factors into consideration before committing to a decision – and once you’ve made your decision, you should be able to defend it and provide reasoning if questioned by those you’re accountable to. Furthermore, the ability to review your decision as new data comes to light shows maturity in leadership.

It’s equally as important not to be too proud to ask for advice with decision-making if you feel there’s a stakeholder who is more knowledgeable on the area in question, although the ultimate decision will still lie with you.

2. Trustworthiness

No-one enjoys working with a leader that they feel they can’t trust; therefore, it’s crucial to build relationships with your team as soon as you possibly can – and this doesn’t mean becoming their friend, but rather presenting yourself as a credible leader who is always transparent and equitable.

Effective ways of building trust with those you manage include being open and honest, listening to their problems without making judgement, and openly discussing the importance of trust within the team or wider organisation.

Of course, the most important thing to remember here is that your desire to build trust needs to be genuine.

3. Empowerment of others

Besides trustworthy, leaders should be trusting in equal measures. When you progress in your career and achieve a high-level position, you may feel as though you need to be perceived as the expert in all areas, but your employees are your employees for a reason – they’re experts in their respective fields and, as a leader, it’s important to trust that they will deliver.

Be sure to delegate to team members wherever possible and empower them to take on tasks or projects that will help them step outside of their comfort zones and grow as professionals. This will demonstrate just how much you believe in them.

4. Clear communication

Clear communication is one of the biggest keys to success within any senior management role. Having a vision and a way to achieve that vision is one thing, but it’s also important to ensure you have communicated that vision clearly to your employees, so that you can all work towards the same goal.

A strong leader should use clear communication to ensure that everyone within their team or organisation understands what they should be aiming for, as well as using language to motivate and inspire their employees to reach their full potential for their own benefit, as well as the organisation’s.

5. Resilience

Last but not least, a great leader must always be prepared to get back up each time they get knocked down; being in a position of authority does not come without its challenges, so it’s crucial not to dwell on short-term failures and instead focus on the learnings you can take away for future reference.

The Karren Brady MBA

The Karren Brady MBA is a career-focused qualification which is designed to instil entrepreneurial competence in its learners by exposing them to high powered networking activities and helping them become world class leaders who are comfortable with life in the boardroom as business leaders.

If you’re a manager aspiring to get to the next level in your career or become a respected business leader, enrolling in the Karren Brady MBA gives you the roadmap and tools to realise your vision

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