Leaders are made, not born. They develop their talents and skills through team experiences. Some people start this early in life while others start it later.
No set of traits predicts leadership success. Some people have technical skills, others have people skills. There is no set of physical, mental, or personality traits required to be a leader. No one set of personality traits predicts leadership effectiveness.
Leaders need to be person and task oriented. Effective leaders clarify goals and set challenging standards. They let others know that getting the job done well is important. But they must also be relationship oriented too. They must listen and encourage input and effort.
Leaders need to be credible and competent. To be a leader, you must have followers. To have followers, people must believe in you. To have people believe in you, you must be credible. To be credible, you must be trustworthy. To be seen as trustworthy, you must be reliable and dependable. In other words, you must do what you say you will do, and you must be competent. Be careful what you promise, and then deliver on your promises. Do not bluff your way through things you do not know. Put out the effort to continually enhance your knowledge and skills to remain competent.
Improved leadership comes from being focused. Leaders are responsible for many things. They must remained focused on their tasks but also on their self-improvement. They need and seek feedback to take a focused-approach in their development by working on one or two weaknesses at a time. They model continuous improvements through their actions.
Thoughts and exercises from Gregory Huszezo’s Tools for Team Leadership: Delivering the X-Factor in Team Excellence.