7 Key Leadership Traits to Cultivate in Your Career
The best leaders know their success will be limited and their accomplishments few unless they build strong teams to support them. Admitting you don’t know everything and can’t do everything, accepting advice from other people, actively seeking out others’ opinions, and recognizing people’s expertise are all signs of strong leadership.
You can cultivate these traits to become a stronger leader and gain the promotions and new jobs you’re looking for in your career. Remember, there are many leaders in a workplace (by title or self-proclamation), but they’re not all good leaders. To truly be happy at work, you need to know how to lead your team well.
To help you get started, following are seven key leadership traits to cultivate in your career if you want to gain more responsibility and climb the career ladder.
1. Admit You’re Not Always Right
You don’t know everything, and you cannot be an expert on every topic. A strong leader recognizes their limitations in knowledge and abilities and seeks out people who can enhance their knowledge and skills.
2. Get Diverse Opinions
A team full of people who constantly agree with everything you say is not a high-performing team. You need a team full of people with diverse knowledge and abilities to ensure you always have all of the information you need to make important decisions. Diverse perspectives yield the best results.
3. Start Small
When you’re building a team, it’s a good idea to start small with critical hires. Working with a few people who you trust can be more effective at first. When you identify additional skills and knowledge needed on your team, you can fill the gaps as needed.
4. Embrace Casual Conversations
Communication doesn’t have to be formal. Don’t think every conversation has to be preceded by a formal invitation or procedure. Just sit down and start sharing insights, advice, and so on. Formality shouldn’t get in the way of innovation and progress. It’s up to you to ensure your team understands this.
5. Know When to Take the Next Step
An important aspect of leadership is monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of your efforts and your team’s efforts. Set up a schedule to sit down and evaluate progress and performance, so you can identify skills or knowledge gaps. Are there opportunities for training? Do you need to hire new employees? Would a specific employee be more effective and happier in a different role within your company?
It’s up to you as the leader to recognize when your team members are unhappy or something is negatively affecting morale. If you ignore problems, they’ll just get bigger.
6. Listen to Everyone and Consider Everything
As a leader, you have experience and knowledge. That’s great, but don’t let your opinions prevent you from making the best decisions. Instead, listen to what everyone has to say and really try to understand their view points. They just might be right (refer back to #1 – you’re not always right).
Also, if multiple people disagree with you or agree with another person’s opinion, you might want to rethink your position. A strong leader admits when they’re wrong and pivots. A weak leader puts his or her ego above everything else and sticks with his or her own opinion despite all of the signs saying it’s wrong.
7. Get Your Team on Board
It’s imperative that every person on your team shares your vision of success. If people have competing agendas or simply don’t care about the team, company, or their team members, then it’s your responsibility to change things.
A strong leader ensures everyone understands why decisions are made and how those decisions affect team members, customers, shareholders, and any other stakeholders. It’s your responsibility as the leader to make sure your team members care and to sustain that level of care and interest over the long-term.
Next Steps to Cultivate Your Leadership Traits
You might get a promotion without cultivating the seven traits discussed above, but your success will be limited. In your career, you’ll need these traits to effectively lead powerful teams, so it’s a good idea to start developing them now. Read books, attend classes, and work with a career coach to ensure you’re well-positioned to get the promotions you need in order to reach your career goals.
All of the career coaches at Wellbeing Coaches are certified to help you navigate your career successfully. Just follow the link to schedule a free 15-minute Talk to a Career Coach session with the career coach of your choice. It’s that easy!
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All information contained on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical or other health advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical professional. IN THE CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911.
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