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8 Defining Characteristics Of Quality Leaders

Quality leaders aren’t born — they’re made. In fact, very few people make good leaders right off the bat. It takes self-awareness, practice, and perseverance to become the best leader you can be.

In this article, we discuss the defining characteristics of quality leaders so you can improve every aspect of the way you work.

Defining Characteristics Of Quality Leaders

quality leader helping her team

1) Decisiveness

Quality leaders aren’t afraid to be decisive and make tough choices. They gather the information they need, make a decision, and then take action. Once the decision is made, the effective leader stands by their choice unless there’s a good reason to reconsider.

The authority of a leader is much like that of a ship’s captain. Though the crew of the ship may be doing the bulk of the work, the captain makes the final decision.

At times, leaders may have to make unpopular choices, but the ultimate goal is the wellbeing of the team and the business as a whole. Quality leaders have to see the bigger picture and make choices accordingly.

For example, you may have a difficult employee who, no matter how hard you try, just won’t listen and follow instructions. In that case, you may have to make the tough and, perhaps, unpopular choice to let the employee go.

That’s what being a decisive leader is all about.

2) Patience

Patience is one of those skills that quality leaders think they have until work gets really tough. It’s true that some are born with more patience than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop your ability to keep a level head in a stressful situation.

When you feel like others are losing their cool — and you might be right there with them — try the following exercise:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth
  3. Slowly count to 10 in your head

This simple technique will help you stay patient and calm during the most trying circumstances.

3) Flexibility

quality leader explaining a flow chart

Quality leaders understand that flexibility means there are often multiple ways to complete a task. Just because one employee chooses to tackle a problem differently than you would have doesn’t mean the approach is wrong.

There may be a more efficient way to get the job done, but, in most cases, it’s the results that really matter.

Flexibility also means being able to adjust quickly to changing circumstances. Don’t be so set in your ways that you can’t make time to deal with an issue that wasn’t on your schedule.

4) Honesty

Honesty is essential if you want to be the best leader you can be. It’s also essential if you want to build a strong team that trusts you and trusts each other. So, treat others how you would want to be treated, and exhibit honesty in all things.

That means telling the truth in good and bad situations. It also means telling the truth when it’s not in your best interest to do so. But when your team sees your honesty, they’ll look to your example and follow your behavior.

That will improve the way they work and the way they deal with each other. With honesty — from both you and your employees — your team will draw together and be able to conquer any problem in your path.

5) Positivity

For quality leaders who want their business to succeed, positivity is crucial. Positivity affects everything your team does — from customer-facing activities to taking out the garbage. And when it’s lacking, everyone will feel it.

If you and your team are facing a difficult project or a deadline is rapidly approaching, don’t focus on the negative and start to complain.

Instead, get excited about the prospect of finding a new and unique solution or working hard to complete everything before the deadline. Shift your perspective, and don’t view these challenges as stumbling blocks or obstacles. Instead, see them as opportunities to excel.

When you exercise positivity at all times, the attitude will rub off on your employees and motivate them to greatness.

6) Adaptability

Team meeting to find quality leaders

Flexibility and adaptability may seem like the same thing, but for quality leaders, they’re actually very different. While flexibility means acknowledging the myriad ways to get things done, adaptability means rolling with the changing circumstances.

Within the business itself, a strong leader needs to be able to adapt their leadership style to the personalities on their team. In a larger sense, they must also be able to adapt to new opportunities and new challenges.

Revising your corporate, business, and functional strategies to reflect the changing needs of your customers is a prime example of adaptability in action.

7) Competence

If you want to lead effectively — and have your team members follow — you need to be competent in every aspect of your job.

You have to be an expert in every area, but you should at least have a healthy knowledge of how to be efficient and successful in everything you do…and everything you ask your team members to do.

When you’re competent in your business, your team members will follow your example — not because they have to, but because they want to.

8) Organization

For some quality leaders, staying organized is a real struggle. For others, staying organized is as easy as breathing.

Whether organization is easy or hard for you, it’s imperative that you work to exhibit it in your daily activities. Why? Because the benefits can dramatically influence the habits of your team.

When they see how well you work through your day, they’ll want to get organized too. And that will benefit everything they do and the way your business operates.

If you’re struggling to bring a little order to your workday, try these quick and easy tips:

  • Make a plan for the next day before you leave work
  • Make a plan for the next week before you leave on Friday
  • Avoid multitasking if at all possible
  • Keep your workspace clean

Thankfully, improving your organization doesn’t take nearly as much time as some of the other qualities on this list. That’s because software can help you automate, simplify, and streamline many of the variables that make staying organized such a chore.

Quality Leaders Harness The Power Of Software

Inside sling app

Being the most effective leader you can be is an important part of your job. But few will ever reach that goal without structure and direction in their workday.

Structure and direction give you the time you need to focus on improving one or all of the characteristics of quality leadership mentioned on this list.

And the best way to create structure and direction in a work environment — be it for you or your team — is with software specifically designed for that purpose.

Sling is that software.

Imagine ending your workdays with a sense of satisfaction and less on your to-do list than you started with. You can (and so can your team), not by putting more time into work, but by making more of your time at work.

With the many features Sling has to offer, you can guide your entire staff in the right direction in a timely and cost-effective way. In addition, you can help them stay more productive and support them in their daily work, while simultaneously leading your business towards better growth.

Sling even helps you improve your own efficiency by allowing you to create, save, and reuse task templates for recurring work so you don’t have to start designing repeated tasks from scratch.

Then, you can break down work into specific actions and create checklists so employees can easily meet expectations.

And that’s only the tip of the Sling iceberg. With Sling, you also get:

  • Powerful scheduling tools
  • Cloud-based schedule distribution and communication
  • A wide range of reports to help you make adjustments for the future
  • Paid-time-off control to help you keep expenses low
  • A built-in time clock
  • Messaging and communication features
  • Your very own newsfeed

When it comes to organizing, managing, and optimizing your workday, there’s no better suite of tools than Sling.

Take the first step toward becoming a quality leader and download the Sling app for free today.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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