Every business, organization, nonprofit, and church needs a leader. Even families flourish under the direction of a leader.

There is much talk on the internet and in corporations about the importance of leadership, but what exactly is a leader? And if you hope to become a leader, how do you do so?

I believe that all leaders possess certain qualities that propel them forward and help them to succeed in business.

Here are seven qualities all leaders should possess or work to gain!

 

1. Personal Investment

If you do not invest in yourself personally, you will fail to function as a thriving leader. Why? Because as a leader, your main job is to serve your employees, team members, and coworkers.

You bring value to the marketplace, not time. To continually bring high-quality value to your business environment, you must invest in yourself.

Carve out time in your schedule to read, to listen to podcasts, and to connect with other professionals. Always be learning. Always be bettering yourself.

If you are a leader and you’re not investing in yourself daily, I highly encourage you to start today.

 

2. Ability to Delegate

Do you hold your employees with tight fists, or do you loosely guide them? Are you displaying trust in your team members by allowing them to dream up new projects and problem-solve?

If not, you’re tiring yourself out unnecessarily and your employees will begin to burn out.

As a leader, you must trust those you’ve placed around you. You must have the ability to faithfully delegate.

 

3. Positive Outlook

When you think about your company – and about problems that may arise – do you find yourself stuck and pessimistic?

As a leader, it’s important to look ahead with positivity and excitement. It’s essential to come upon problems with a can-do attitude.

You are leading the entirety of your team, so it is highly beneficial when you can look past the initial disappointments and begin dreaming up a solution. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck or down about the roadblocks that will inevitably happen. Instead, choose to have a positive outlook and encourage your team to do the same.

 

4. Depth of Humility

It seems like a no-brainer that humility is essential for all leaders. But have you ever thought about developing a depth of humility?

Humility has been defined not as thinking less of yourself, but as thinking of yourself less. As a leader, determine ways that you can live this out daily.

How can you make your team feel valued and appreciated?

What can you do to think less of yourself in the office?

How can the mission of your business or organization reflect a depth of humility?

 

5. Willingness to Change

Related to humility is the willingness to change. You must be willing to adapt, grow, and change your game plan.

If something is not working, you should be able to stand up, admit the fact that it’s not working, and make a change. If someone offers a suggestion for how to improve, you should be willing to listen and consider the possibility.

Your way is not the only way. This is part of the humility aspect of leadership. Sometimes someone else knows best. So, be humble enough to listen and respond with the willingness to change.

 

6. Strong Sense of Self

Do you know who you are at your core? What makes you tick, gets you excited, and causes you to stumble?

As a leader, you need a thorough and accurate understanding of yourself. You need to be confident, as well as humble. You should know your personality type, your strengths and weaknesses, and the areas where you could improve.

I suggest that all leaders take the Myers Briggs personality assessment. I also find the StrengthsFinder test helpful.

Then, after you take the tests, use the information to grow and improve. This is another form of investing in yourself like I mentioned above.

 

7. Forward Thinking

Finally, how do you think about the future? Are you a big dreamer or a reserved leader?

As you dream, give yourself the freedom to dream big – to always be pushing for the next best goal in your personal life and your business. Take action and allow your team to take action alongside you.

With forward thinking, you can have a plan and some action steps. You can also have no plan and no action steps. Mostly it’s just important to think ahead and to allow yourself the freedom to dream.

 


 

There is always room to grow and improve. My suggestion would be to download the free leadership inventory handout at the end of this post, work through the questions, and take action.

Reading this blog post isn’t enough to become a great leader. It’s not even enough to sharpen some dull leadership skills.

But, if you read this post and take action, then you’re a real leader. Take this information and do something with it. Remember, it almost always leads back to number 1 – invest in yourself every day.

Grab the FREE leadership handout here by entering your email address!