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7 Essential Qualities of First Time Leaders

October 02, 2019

The Oxford Dictionary defines leadership as a quality of a person to ‘influence or be in-charge’

of another group of people. With the changing paradigms of management, growth and work culture in the 21st Century, leaders are the most valuable assets to an advanced and fast-paced society. 

From a very young age, children and adolescents are taught the importance of leadership. You also must have been told innumerable times to stand up, speak out and take the lead. However, when you find yourself in your first startup, you may have a group of people working under you without the proper training or guidance to lead them towards the organizational objectives. But no worries, you have come to the right place to discover the qualities that every good leader should have, regardless of whether you’re an amateur or a veteran. Listed below are 7 of them:

  1. Having a clear vision of the future

A leader is often that person in a team who is very well aware of what the future is or is capable of being. You should be able to clearly visualize where you want to see your organization in say, 5 years, while your team is still probably confused as to what is expected of them. Being able to see into the future and getting your team accustomed to your vision is the first step towards building a great team and being an efficient leader.

2. Planning a strategic course of action

While your team is still understanding the goals that need to be achieved, it is expected of you to already have a rough course of action to achieve the end goals. Planning and following a strategic course of action is probably the most important quality of every individual. This is what makes the difference between a winner and a loser. 

3. Managing your time well

Your personal time management skills are very important if you hold an important leadership position in your organisation as this clearly tells your subordinates where and how to invest their time. Time is the most important resource at our disposal in the cutthroat competitive world of the 21st Century. Making an effective routine for your team helps to meet deadlines along with increasing the efficiency and productivity of the work-force. 

4. Communicating and commitment to your team 

Effective communication and soft skills can go a long way in the journey of becoming a great leader. It’s important to understand that communication is a two-way process that involves both giving and taking, giving clear instructions and stating expectations while taking feedback in return. It is not possible to motivate and inspire your team without being able to talk to them on a personal level.

When we talk about commitment, a lot of things come to mind. Just as the popular saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, it is imperative to understand that the journey to success is a long one. It’s important to be committed to your vision and goal, and to your team. There will be times when things go haywire and one of your subordinates may want to give, it is your duty as a leader to motivate your teammates and uplift their spirits. Perseverance is the key here. 

5. The art of identifying potential and delegating 

One great quality that every good leader has is the ability to identify a person’s potential. While there are several courses and tutorials about the scientific way to do this, the best leaders are usually born with this instinct. But no worries if you aren’t because it’s easy to develop this power with acute observation skills and some practice. Most of us work in a diverse environment with people from all sorts of backgrounds, be it educational or vocational. Due to the diverse talent pool, it sometimes becomes difficult to identify which aspect of a project one particular person might be best at. Delegating work to potential individuals improves not only increases the efficiency of your workforce to produce the best results but also boosts the confidence of your subordinates. 

6. Recognizing the efforts of your subordinates

It’s important to constantly congratulate and appreciate the work done by your team members as this gives them a sense of recognition and helps them produce even better results thereby boosting their confidence. This not only helps in personality development but also tells your teammates that you take the effort to individually assess each of their works and give constructive feedback.

7. Being empathetic and humble towards your team 

Understanding the mentality of your team and seeing the project from their point of view is a quality of immense importance and lays the foundation for a great leader-subordinate relationship. Understanding where your teammates are coming from without them constantly having to fight for their opinions helps them connect with you better. Humility also plays a major role in this as only by being humble, you can reach your ultimate goal. 

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