What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?

Humans are raised by their parents before going off into the world to become an independent individual who acts on their own behalf. Adults like to think of themselves as their own boss, but little do you realize that you are constantly being led by the people and things around you. On the macro-scale, you are led by a government that represents your best interests, a boss who ensures you are a member of a high performance team, and for many people, a religion that heavily influences your day-to-day behavior.

On the micro-scale, you are influenced by your co-workers, friends, and neighbors in your community. These influencers hold special characteristics that lead you in a certain direction. Some of the most important traits these people possess are intelligence, the ability to connect with you, and the ability to motivate you to perform at your highest level.

The most important characteristic for an effective leader is a profound intelligence on topics related to their field. This doesn’t necessarily mean that an effective leader must have a high IQ. It’s equally important for a leader to have a strong Emotional Quotient (EQ), so they understand that their actions have direct consequences on people around them.

For the large-scale leaders such as government officials and high-ranking managers, it’s important to be knowledgeable on the issues related to their job. The public doesn’t want to elect a public official who is ignorant of important social reform causes. For micro-leaders, it’s much more important that they have a high EQ so they can understand why an issue is important to you. This gives you a consistent friend you can rely on.

No one is an effective leader if they don’t have the support of their constituents, or community. Humans are social beings, and as such it’s incredibly important that we connect to the people around us. This is abundantly clear in politics when the government is no longer looking out for your best interests.

This could mean backtracking on campaign promises, or advocating for issues the constituency does not believe in. In the workforce, bosses must connect with their employees so they know how to get the most out of each person. In the community, this is much simpler to understand, if you don’t connect with someone, then you won’t be friends with them. Human interaction is incredibly complex, but the one constant connection is that people do not work well with people they hate.

Getting a team of different personalities together to complete a complex project is not an easy process. Not everyone is motivated by the same reward, and people handle workloads differently. This makes it extremely important know the limits of your employees.

Many companies offer bonuses to employees who work at an exceptional level throughout the year, but this bonus might start to worry employees who are counting on the extra money. This added stress will hurt some employee’s production. Every boss must find what motivates their employees so they can keep them performing at an exceptional level.

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