Leaders at work are not always easy to spot, even if you know what to look for. A good leader can be defined in several ways. It is not just about being able to give orders and manage people. It’s also about positively impacting the team, caring about the people around them, and having the skills to listen and build respect, trust, and confidence.
Here are the signs of a good leader at work to know who your best leaders are or who could develop into one.
Sign #1: Leaders Make Decisions
A leader will step in when they need to and make decisions. When there is indecisiveness, nothing gets done. Decisions must be made, rightly or wrongly. This also usually leans on resolving disagreements and, ultimately, getting the team focused on the correct areas. Executive coaching focuses on preparing you for sound decision making.
Sign #2: Leaders Work Towards Excellence
Leaders always try their best and push those around them to be their best. They want excellence, and when they come up short, they’re quick to analyze why and, ultimately, work to make the result different the next time.
Sign #3: Leaders Identify Toxicity
A single toxic influence can hinder the work of other personnel. Suppose a leader is not directly involved in hiring. In that case, they can identify when a toxic person is present and aren’t afraid to remove them from the team if they’re unwilling to stop the toxic behaviour.
Sign #4: Leaders Have Expertise
A leader is not born an expert in anything. They develop it. A leader is willing to invest the time as a student to build their skillset in an area they may not know. A leader without competency is not a leader at all.
Sign #5: Leaders Are Accountable
A leader is not just a leader when the team is successful. It’s even more important to be a leader when they fail. A leader must be willing to accept blame when there are failings. They don’t have to dwell on it but are willing to accept it and will be ready to guide the team forward.
Sign #6: Leaders Have Vision
A leader has a vision. They can provide their team with what the end goal is going to be. A leader can provide direction; the best leaders communicate direction clearly and effectively to those around them.
Sign #7: Leaders Can Prioritize
There may be 50 things to complete today, but you only have time to do 25. A leader can prioritize and get going fairly quickly, ensuring that the most important tasks are tackled, and the team is always moving in the right direction.
Sign #8: Leaders Offer Praise
A leader is a motivator. They offer encouragement to those doing a good job, reward and praise those doing a great job, and support those struggling. A leader is not afraid to be vocal and praise their team members for letting them know the amazing job they’re doing.
Sign #9: Leaders Bring People Together
Some may be disengaged from work on a given day. A leader can unite people, recognize talents, and work to make the team a functioning unit. This can be more effort on some days than others, but the rewards are numerous. Sometimes, we all need extra help getting invested in our work.
Sign #10: Leaders Can Manage Their Time
A leader will not waste time with meetings that don’t need to happen. They won’t be late for events. They won’t be overly detailed or meandering with their directives when shorter comments will do. A leader does not waste time and isn’t hesitant about getting to business.
Sign #11: Leaders Ask Questions
Here is a sure way to spot a leader-in-the-making. They ask questions. They question assumptions, are thorough in their understanding of a concept, and aren’t willing to accept things if they could be done more effectively another way. A leader is not annoyed about these questions, but they aren’t shy about it, either.
Sign #12: Leaders Have Respect And Empathy
Leaders have empathy for people going through rough situations. They also respect people and aren’t going to overwork someone or send them out into the deep end without support. Work is always a priority, but humans are concerned with other things, including spouses, children, friends, interests, and ambitions. All these different things are best-given respect, and a leader knows that.
Sign #13: Leaders Model Behavior
A leader models the behaviour they want to see in the workplace. They’re ethical. They follow the rules. They dress the part. They carry themselves with strength and confidence but aren’t afraid to have a sense of humour and know when to lay back to let others shine.
Sign #14: Leaders Make Leaders
Lastly, leaders aren’t afraid of their team members leading themselves. Quite the opposite. A leader will empower every team member to become their manager in a way and their leader. This is how teams are built, where every member contributes.