6 Traits of a Good Leader

A good leader should 

1. Keep it real

Good leaders keep it real. They are being themselves and talk the same way or almost the same way to you in the office, as they would do in a bar. Leaders that say things as “I’ve never had a day that I didn’t feel happy about going to work” lose credibility immediately and are seen as fake. No matter how driven you are. That morning when your goldfish died and you spilled your coffee in the car to work….you really didn’t feel like it. Again. Just keep it real.

2. Be kind

Be kind. Caring. Friendly and genuine. Leaders that create distance and do not connect to their reports and / or others down the ladder…are no true leaders. The need to create distance to have authority is a weakness. Especially millennials will perceive it as such. Also, they will voice this. So be open, be real, show weakness and be yourself. Unless you are a dick.

3. Create a culture of trust and bravery

Create a culture of trust and bravery. The first two points above already have huge impact on a team’s culture. On top of this, when people are being rewarded for taking ownership and mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, then you create that people can work fearlessly and take initiative. 

4. Weigh in last

So you think you did great on the three points above? How about this one! In meetings it is tempting as most senior leader to speak first and speak most. But try the opposite. Speak last. See what happens and give people trust that ‘they’ve got this’. Now tell me you senior leader you….this one is worth a try right?!

5. Dirty words

Ensure accountability and responsibility are not dirty words. Pushing work to other departments is not always a win. Ensure people do what they get paid for. It’s a job after all. Reward and punish both positive and negative accountability. There is nothing less motivating than there not being any consequences for slackers. Ensure promotions are merit based. Show clear deliverables for this person, or don’t promote. Never do it to serve other agendas, people will see through this and get demotivated.

6. Be funny

Last but not least. Make a good joke from time to time or congratulate someone on their birthday. Yes really. It is always the small things that make all the difference. So you career hotshot with your serious face on and expensive suit you – when did you do this lately?

Do you have all 6? Please let me know in the comments 🙂

Good luck and keep moving up!

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