The 7 Traits of Insanely Great Leaders

Posted by Maria Talley on Jun 8, 2016 5:16:00 PM
Maria Talley
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"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
--Winston Churchill

Being a boss takes ambition. Being a good leader takes courage. Sometimes, even the best leaders experience low self-esteem and awkwardness when it comes to dealing with difficult group dynamics. No one wants to feel awkward or emotionally exposed. As managers and as leaders, we want to belong and set a good, strong example for our team to follow.


So what makes a good leader, someone who is able to remain strong, flexible, charismatic and likable even in the most conflicting situations?

1. Insanely great leaders are empathetic

Empathy is what keeps a working relationship going. 

An empathetic leader: 

  • Doesn't get jealous when a team member receives a promotion
  • Does get thrilled when an employee quits in the pursuit of a dream to travel the World
  • Allows herself to be genuinely happy for others

2. Great leaders are humble

In today's world of social media and self-promotion, humility is one of those old-fashioned traits that often gets forgotten. Being humble doesn't mean you have to neglect your accomplishments, awards, or social status. A humble leader stays with her team because she knows that people are her biggest asset. A humble leader is confident, but not arrogant. She readily admits mistakes and welcomes constructive feedback.

3. They aren't afraid to be vulnerable

Brene Brown, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the book, The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage, describes vulnerability as "uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure" that's necessary to embrace and overcome to attain true confidence and prove yourself worthy. When we embrace and accept our true nature with all its flaws and fears, we begin to achieve resilience and inner strength.

4. Great leaders constantly challenge their comfort zone

The fear of public speaking is more common among successful leaders than you might think. Putting yourself out there and practicing speaking in front of a group takes courage, discipline and a great deal of self-control. At the end, an ability to remain calm and comfortable in front of the crowd is one of the greatest traits of a great leader.

5. They are aware and present

Text messages, emails, phone calls and other tech advancements distract us from staying present in the moment. I remember the time when checking phone in front of a person you are having a conversation with was considered rude. Now it became so common, that many of us don't even think twice before picking up the phone to check email while having lunch with a friend or a co-worker. Staying present in the conversation and remaining an active listener takes a lot of self- discipline, but at the end helps build stronger and more meaningful relationships.

6. They show genuine interest in everyone

Great leaders really do care about their people. They don't just act it. When we find ourselves caught in the whirlwind of daily tasks, sometimes it's hard to stop and listen to a person, especially when deadlines are tight and we need to get the job done quickly. Great leaders, however, understand that it's their responsibility to be there for the team and provide much-needed support. That's why they stay engaged no matter how busy they are.

7. They use humor to break the ice

Humor and optimism relieve stress and dissolve conflict. Great leaders know when to make people laugh to help bring them on the same page and smooth out the edges. Communicating with a sense of humor builds stronger relationships, enhances creativity and helps put things into a better, more clear perspective. 

When it comes to building a strong and resilient company culture, being a great leader simply isn't enough. You want to create a team of professionals who work together well. Candidate.Guru is here to help you build just that. Curious to learn more? Click the image below to find out how we can help.

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Topics: team building, hiring, leadership

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