Leaders come in many shapes and sizes. There is no particular template that all of them fit into, but there are some common characteristics that all good leaders share. These are the 10 C’s of leadership that every good leader exhibits.
Showing concern for your team, letting them know that you are there for them supporting them, protecting them is, for me, one of the most important leadership qualities. It’s all about the team; they are the one’s who do the work, who make things happen and the more compassion a leader shows the more that team will achieve.
Remaining calm under pressure ensures that others will stay calm too, and every team will experience pressure if the goals they are striving for are big enough. As a leader, we need to remain immune to the pressure, or at least, look that way. We need to be like a duck, serene on the surface, even if beneath it, our legs work like crazy.
In Braveheart William Wallace says, “men don’t follow titles, they follow courage”, and as leaders if we display courage people will follow us. Leaders need to have the courage to stand up for what they believe in, or to take on the big challenges. They need to have that belief in themselves and what they are doing.
When we talk about character, we’re talking about honesty, integrity and authenticity. Leaders need to possess all three to build trust with their teams. Trust is the cornerstone of leadership. Teams need to know that they can trust and rely on their leaders.
We need to have confidence in our abilities and also the ability to build confidence in our teams. When we can show and create confidence, it leads to belief, and belief is one of the main ingredients in achieving success. Self-confidence is a great asset, we just need to make sure it doesn’t overflow into arrogance, arrogance is not a great leadership quality.
I know this might sound obvious, but we have to be able actually to lead. We have to show that we have the capability to create the vision, create the plan and then execute the plan. We also need to surround ourselves with competent people. It’s not the leaders job to do everything. But we do need to be competent in the skills of leadership.
Teams love consistency, reliability and predictability. They don’t like uncertainty and inconsistency. As leaders we need to be models of consistency, giving the teams something that they can cling to as things start to become uncertain. If we are inconsistent then the teams will start to question themselves and us, and this can lead to doubts. Doubts are the first steps on the road to failure.
Communication, communication, communication. We can never communicate too often or too clearly to our teams. Whether it’s sharing the vision, explaining the plan, or reporting progress, good communication is always key. We need to communicate with energy and enthusiasm to motivate and inspire our teams.
Leadership defines culture and if we want our teams committed to the goals, then we need to demonstrate commitment in everything we do. This doesn’t mean just adherence to chasing the goals but in meeting every commitment we make to our teams. We need to keep each and every promise we make no matter how small. When we show consistency, our teams will return the favour.
All great leaders are good at challenging the status quo, at challenging our teams to aim higher and to achieve more. Leaders don’t look to maintain results they look to improve them, to take things to the next level.
To be a good leader you don’t need to demonstrate most of these 10 C’s, you need to demonstrate all of them!
The stronger these qualities are, the better the leader you will be.
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