7 Key Leadership Traits Great Managers Need
Research suggests there are two personality traits common to great leaders.
These are extroversion and conscientiousness.
The study goes on to say that extroversion is the best predictor of leadership effectiveness. Extroversion is defined as a person’s sociability and enthusiasm. The conscientiousness refers to a leader’s work ethic and organizational skills.
Now that you know two personality traits of great managers, let’s look at 7 key leadership traits great managers need.
#1: Great Managers Have Vision
The first leadership trait we’re going to discuss is vision. And, no, we don’t mean they can see into the future.
Great leaders who have vision can see a clear path to where they want to go and how to get there. They can see the big picture as well as the minutia needed to get to the end result.
Managers with good leadership are skilled at strategic planning because they have a clear vision.
They know the temperaments of their staff, and they know how to encourage them through the planning and implementation. Because they have vision, they know how to utilize the best qualities of their staff.
#2: Great Managers Have Integrity
A great leader is someone the team can trust. This trust comes from integrity.
Why is integrity important?
It’s important because leaders with integrity adhere to moral and ethical principles. They model good moral character and honesty for their team members.
Managers with integrity are truthful, and their staff values their honesty.
Great leaders try to always do the right thing – even when no one is watching. They stay true to their word even when faced with harsh consequences.
#3: Great Managers Are Humble
This may seem like a counterintuitive statement, but great managers are humble, yet strong and decisive.
A good manager isn’t afraid to give someone else credit for something. This is a key leadership trait.
What exactly is a humble manager? It’s not someone who is weak or meek. It’s someone with enough self-confidence and self-esteem not to feel threatened by co-workers.
It’s a manager who’s able to admit when he’s wrong, and to let people know she doesn’t have all the answers.
A humble manager does know where to find the answers.
A leader who can control the fireball that is the ego is abler to listen, take the information in and act on it.
#4: Great Managers Delegate
Another key leadership trait is the ability to delegate.
This is important because it empowers team members to do their job. When managers delegate, they also have the ability to pass on skills to employees while gently coaching them how to do their job.
Delegating allows you to encourage self-development in your team members.
When you delegate, you also let go of some responsibility and authority. You hand it over to a staff member to do the task. Yet, you retain the decisive responsibility while putting trust in your employee.
#5: Great Managers Are Focused
Being a manager means your focus can be stolen at any moment. Yet, great managers can maintain focus at all times even when they feel like a bouncing ball.
Great managers incorporate this leadership trait into their work as well by staying focused on their goals – their own goals as well as the goals of their employees.
Great managers focus on getting the job done in the most efficient way possible. They model such focus that their teams are very focused on meeting their goals as well.
#6: Great Managers are Communicators
Imagine a company with a leader who isn’t a communicator. That company might suffer.
Great managers should be good communicators, and if they aren’t, this is something they should strive for.
This is a leadership trait that can be learned, and great managers must have outstanding communication skills in good times and bad. Negotiating conflict is a must.
#7: Great Managers Are Risk Takers
Great leaders are willing to take risks, but they are informed risks. A skilled leader understands the risk, and has thought through the ramifications.
As such, a great leadership trait is courage. Managers who are willing to take on a risk to move their business forward without any assurance of success are often successful.
You might call risk taking as decision making with consequences. The great leader is cognizant of the consequences and has thought out all possible options, and still they take the risk.
Great leaders are risk takers because they can see the big picture, and they are achievement driven.
Managers are leaders. And, to be the most effective leader you can be, it’s important to be open to learning.
Not all managers are born with these 7 key leadership traits. While some of them are inherent in a person, some of them can be learned.
If you’d like to be a strong leader, look for ways to improve your leadership skills. Take management classes. Be open to suggestions.
Lastly, remember the two personality traits vital to strong leaders - extroversion and conscientiousness. These are great indicators when hiring managers for your company.
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