When not in a role of leadership, it’s easy to think that all of this talk of leadership development isn’t for you. You don’t need to worry about learning how to lead when you’re self-employed, just an employee, an entrepreneur, or just…"not a leader,” right?
Even if you don’t see yourself in a traditional leadership role, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from leadership traits. You see, for all of us—not just managers, CEOs, and leaders of other flavors—there is something profoundly valuable in the embodiment of leadership.
No matter who you are, we can all benefit personally and professionally from these leadership traits.
5 Leadership Traits Everyone Can Benefit From
1) Self-Assessment & Awareness
The quest for self-improvement is never ending. We should always be striving to grow, learn, and get better with each passing day. It’s very difficult to do that if we don’t know how to assess ourselves and our performance. Do you know how to quickly identify your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know why you’re that way? Can you analyze your performance in any given situation and give yourself an honest critique so that you can improve and build upon your success or failure for next time?
Self-awareness (knowing yourself, understanding yourself, your motivations, your characteristics, faults, and strengths) and the ability to self-assess are key traits in leadership that are wildly beneficial to all of us.
People in positions of leadership tend to have a knack for problem-solving and critical thinking. It’s a skill that we would all do well to hone. In both our professional and personal lives, we’re going to come across problems that need troubleshooting. The ability to approach an issue from every angle, to think through it rationally, and come to the best solution is one that we often take for granted.
Leaders are recruited to solve problems for organizations. It takes not only immense analytical power but top-notch people skills. If you want to do it like the best leaders in the biz, step up to the plate and put your problem-solving skills to the test whenever you have the opportunity.
3) Persuasion Skills
You might have the greatest ideas, the most compelling points, and the best opportunities anyone has ever heard of, but if you can’t effectively sell it, you may be up the creek without a proverbial paddle. Leaders know the value of persuasion. While at first glance, it might seem like the power of persuasion may only come in handy for those in leadership, remember: everyone can benefit from the strong presence and oratory skills that come with it.
4) Vision & Clarity
Good leaders have vision. They know what they want and how to achieve it. Not only that, but they can communicate that to whoever they’re working with. How can that benefit you? Think about yourself. What you want in your life. Do you have a vision? I fear that a lot of us get lost under the sway of life. Maybe we started out with dreams that, over time, were put away in favor of obligations or the toil of a career or necessities. We learned to dream smaller and wound up feeling a little aimless.
It’s time to recapture our vision. Maybe that’s as simple as planning for retirement. Finding the love for a hobby. Reigniting career goals. Either way, setting in stone a vision for yourself and figuring out how you want to achieve it is a path to success.
5) Genuine Care
What makes a leader great? To me, it comes down to whether or not they really care about what they’re doing and who they’re around. Do they care who they’re working with and for? Do they care about what they’re working towards and the way in which they achieve their goals?
For me, integrity means a great deal. People mean a great deal. Through our lives, there’s something empty about leadership and career and all of our achievements if we don’t actually care about what we’re doing outside of our personal wealth and glory. For some people, maybe that’s enough.
But I think leaders become truly great when they care beyond themselves. For us, I think we can learn from that and bring it into our lives, too. It means looking around us and bringing it into our relationships. Instead of approaching things from the angle of “what will I gain?” we ask ourselves different questions.
Questions like, "Who can I help? How will this impact people’s lives? Will this make their day better?"
When we put ourselves aside and start really caring about the things that we do...that’s when we really start to shine.