May 1, 2013

Do you know a great leader when you see one? Whether you own your own business, oversee a team at a Fortune 500 organization or manage a household, there are certain essential qualities that enable some to stand out as leaders and motivate others to follow suit. Many of these attributes must be developed purposefully overtime and with much experience, both positive and negative.

When you pause to reflect on your own career path and future objectives, what are your strengths and areas for opportunity? Do you recognize these six signs of leadership within yourself?

1. Delegate
Do you know exactly what needs to get done and how to accomplish the task through others? Learning to delegate frees up your time and attention to focus on more important issues, while empowering those you manage to make wise decisions and take ownership of their responsibilities.

2. Listen
You can learn a lot about leadership through active listening. This requires you to remain engaged in order to provided necessary feedback and follow up. As a good listener, you are able to set aside your assumptions to open your mind to new thoughts and ideas, which also contributes to your job effectiveness and ability to foster good relationships.

3. Communicate
Can you deliver a message that motivates and mobilizes others to take action? Can you listen to a message being presented, decipher the perspective in which it’s given, identify what questions to ask to resolve an issue and determine the appropriate and clear tone to deliver a resolution? These are all qualities of a great communicator, and are imperative to a leader’s success.

4. Ignite Passionate
The ability to instill excitement and energy in others to rally around your collective initiatives is a true sign of a great leader. It demonstrates strength in communication and value for the greater good of the team, which builds community and goodwill.

5. Confidence
Leaders take risks, are not afraid to make the tough decisions, stand behind them and even admit when they are wrong. They exude empowerment, passion, influence and empathy that evoke assurance and confidence in others.

6. Set an Example
What does your behavior say about the standards you’re setting for others to follow? If you want to build credibility as a leader, you must move beyond just telling others what to do and be a living demonstration of the conduct you hope to see. Whether you believe it or not, you are being watched.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. No matter how many good qualities you may possess; there is always room for growth. The question is: are you looking for ways to improve as a leader?” explains Anthony Curlo, President & CEO of DavinciTek.

What other leadership qualities would you add to this list?

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