Can Just Anyone Be a Good Leader?

The question of the ages is whether you are born a leader or if you can become a leader with the right training. The quick and true answer is that the skills needed for good leadership are born from education, experience, and access to information, along with a willingness to improve. If that describes you, you can become a leader.

There are many theories surrounding the concept of leadership and the various styles one can adopt. One of these is Trait Theory, which are theories that look at one’s personal qualities and characteristics that differentiate a leader from a nonleader and can include their personality and the social/physical/intellectual abilities (Robbins & Judge, 2022).

There are, also, many assessments that can identify them; one is the Big Five model, which distinguishes five personality traits: extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

In addition to personality, effective leadership requires a host of skills that you can be learned, such as:

Accountability – Not only do you need to understand how to take responsibility when needed, but you also, as a leader, need to understand how to hold others accountable ethically and fairly.

Assertiveness – You must learn how to say no, or yes when it’s the right thing to do, and express your fact-based opinions confidently. Part of being a leader is other people’s perception of you as a leader. If the people around you believe you and know you’ll stand up for them and your causes, the perception is you’re a good leader.

Communication – Knowing how to talk, listen, and when to do both is a skill a good leader processes and a skill you can learn. This includes listening skills, body language, and tone of voice. The more you learn about the process of communication, the more you can add to your leadership skill set.

Emotionally Intelligent – A strong leader knows themself and can regulate their emotions so they remain cool in difficult situations. They can regulate other’s by not giving in to conflict and are able to build up others and diffuse harsh situations.

Ethical – Doing the right thing, regardless of what others think, is what a strong leader does. They have a strong awareness of their morals, values, and principles and make decisions that demonstrate them.

Focused – A good leader knows when and how to get things done. They pay close attention to details and don’t allow distractions to lower the quality of their work or slow them down.

Honesty – Despite how it sometimes seems in the media, a good leader knows how to be truthful and doesn’t try to hide the truth from their audience.

Open-Mindedness – A good leader knows that they don’t know what they don’t know and may not even know what questions to ask about what they don’t know. Therefore, they keep an open mind and pay close attention to facts as they reveal themselves to change course if needed.

Organized – Don’t worry. Even if you aren’t naturally organized, you really can learn to improve your organizational skills. But even if you can’t keep your home uncluttered, you can learn how to manage all your work using the tools of the trade.

Relationship Builder – Due to their understanding of themselves, human nature, and conflict resolution, a good leader is an effective relationship builder both at work and personally. When team members feel they are cared about, they develop trust and will follow their leader.

Reliable – If a good leader tells you they will do something, they always do. You can trust them at their word. But this is also why they are not afraid to say no because they’re not saying yes to things they don’t want to do or don’t need to do.

Result-Oriented – A good leader knows that intentions are not worth much if the impact is not what you were shooting for. Measuring impact and results will always be a superior measure to success.

Self-Awareness – Practicing introspection to allow you to improve your life is a great skill of a leader. If you are willing to learn who you are and why you are the way you are and how to build yourself into the person you want to become while loving who you are, you’re a great leader in the making.

Self-Belief – A good leader must believe in themselves, but part of self-belief is the ability to believe in others too. Studies show that folks who have low self-belief tend to have a lack of belief in others too.

Strategic Thinking – An effective leader can analyze current information and use it to make choices that help them create the long-term success they seek to position themselves to win the future essentially.

To become a well-respected leader is to embark on a path of self-education and to assess what you need to improve on to become the leader you desire to be and where you shine so you can focus on what you are naturally good at doing as you improve yourself. Making a daily ritual to make improvements will keep you leading strong.

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”  (Vince Lombardi)

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