Whether it’s a trainer, teacher, parent, politician or manager, great leaders are hard to come by. That said, being a great leader isn’t something that is unreachable; I believe that the very best and most memorable leaders amongst us should aim to have the following five qualities.

1. Enthusiastic

The best leaders should exhibit enthusiasm and interest; this means showing interest in any activity, engaging with others and maintaining a positive “can do” attitude about the task at hand. The leader’s attitude will trickle through the ranks and be felt by all around him or her, so I really feel that enthusiasm is the first step to being a great leader.

2. Tactful

Enthusiasm aside, there will come times when leaders need to deal with a serious matter and do so without creating animosity. It is important to treat others – peers, subordinates or seniors – with respect and sensitivity; this includes dealing with issues in private and giving praise in public. All leaders will often need to deliver criticisms but the best leaders do so under the guise of offering a helpful suggestion, with the aim being to do the individual a favour.

3. Good Judge

A great leader needs to be able to promptly evaluate a situation and come up with the best course of action. They must also be decisive and able to communicate their decisions in an assertive way. It is also important to look ahead and see problems developing as soon as possible. That said, a good leader will earn respect by not being afraid to admit they have made a mistake on occasion.

4. Uses Initiative

A great leader is confident, has self-belief and is able to act without needing others’ instruction. Just as they need good judgement, they need to be able to take ownership of a situation and make an authoritative decision. The best leaders will also confidently step in to take ownership of a problem when no one else can or will.

5. Has a Sense of Justice

A sense of absolute justice is hard to achieve but offering praise and criticism as fairly as possible is crucial to earning others’ respect, trust and happiness. Great leaders shouldn’t be afraid to reproach or give incentives to others and they should do so both consistently and impartially. Even regular casual conversations or appraisals can give this sense of justice.

Author's Bio: 

Written by Heather Buckley from Silicon Beach Training, providers of Leadership, Management, Human Resources and recently launched PRINCE2 training in Birmingham.

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