Posted in Career Insights

what it takes to be a leaderPeople often say that you cannot teach leadership. They claim that leadership is an ability some people simply have and that others cannot learn.

This is untrue. Anyone can be a leader given proper motivation and effort.

So, what does it take to be a leader? Here are just a few characteristics of an authentic leader.

Being Out Front

If a leader doesn’t pitch into a project, operation, program, or work in general, they’re not a leader.

Just because someone became a leader doesn’t make them exempt from tasks. If they want a project to come in on time and preserve the morale, they need to be ‘leading from the front.’ This means helping complete tasks and abiding by processes and rules.

Leaders can isolate themselves by ostracizing themselves from the team, which wrecks morale and their reputation.

Understanding Expertise

Not everyone is an expert in everything, and a leader will likely have experts on their team.

Whether this expert is a dedicated professional, a person with a doctorate, or someone who has worked in a field for 30 years, they bring specialized knowledge to the group that a leader likely does not have.

Similarly, a bad leader doesn’t like being told they do not know something about a topic. A good leader will recognize there is always room for improvement.

Still, a good leader must step back, remove themselves from their ego, and acknowledge what the experts contribute.

Trusting and Delegating

As a leader gets to be more comfortable with their role, they will learn more about the abilities and characteristics of those that they lead.

When that happens, they will understand who they can trust with what tasks, and they should begin to delegate tasks in projects.

A leader may be in charge, but they are only one person. There’s a reason that the President of the United States isn’t doing everything at the White House; it would make them ineffective and inefficient.

It is important to know when to hand off tasks to members of your team, and when the task is something that a leader must handle on their own. Similarly, it’s important to hand the tasks off to someone who will accomplish their objective.

Managing, Not Micromanaging

One of the biggest complaints in many workplace environments is micromanagement.

A leader doesn’t need to tell most employees every little thing that they need to do. They need to let their employees do their jobs without breathing down their necks the whole time.

Become a Leader

Begin your career as a leader by taking a business management course at the Stratford Career Institute.

Interested in learning more about a career in business management? Download our guide to Business Management Education below!

Business Management Guide

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