Leadership Qualities That Matter


By Shereen Shabnam

Over the last two decades, I have interviewed thousands of leaders for multiple publications who have shared their thoughts on what made them successful leaders and the answer always was by working with the right team. The best leaders I came across had a few leadership styles in common. Below are some pointers on what it takes to be a good leader.

Be Alert 

When it comes to managing teams with multiple business associates, clients an suppliers, recognising that each team member has a different skillsets and motivational needs helps nurture them based on their strengths. By focusing on their areas of interest and what they want to focus on as part of their career progression leads to better outcomes. The best leaders I interviewed over the years adapt the work environment to ensure every team member feels motivated to be productive and recognized for their efforts. 

Foster Team Spirit

There can be many different synergies within an office so it is important to listen, observe and identify the different skillsets within the company. Good leaders check in with their team often and provide both a safe space to open up in case they are dealing with ideas and challenges they may need support with and a collaborative space where they may share their thoughts with others to come up with creative and inspiring ideas.

Give Feedback

When the organisation has a win or is successful, highlight the success to the team and give feedback with reasons for the success and credit the individuals who went above and beyond.

Being a leader is not just about coaching and mentoring but also listening and often giving honest feedback even if it means correcting and employee and giving them ideas on how it can be done better.

The best leaders give constructive feedback that encourages team members to want to strive to be better. They have corporate guidelines in place to remind them of best practices so less mistakes are made.

Set an Example

Most of what I do with the multiple industries I work with is based on what I learned from leaders I interviewed or leaders I worked for who inspired, motivated and empowered their team. My bosses always supported me, encouraged me to think out of the box and often paid for courses to expand my skillset.  They demonstrated leadership qualities and set examples that we could follow and mirror for our own smaller departments.

Empower your team

A lot of what I know today was out of my comfort zone years ago but because leaders I worked for encouraged me and empowered me to take up difficult projects, I learned on the job and realised I could do that afterall and they as leaders recognised that I could well before I had that confidence. Leaders can empower by encouraging teams think for themselves and come up with solutions to challenges when managing a project.

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