The 5 Qualities of a True Leader


Sad fact, leadership roles don’t always get filled by leaders. Do you exhibit these qualities?

1. Kick up, kiss down.

How much time do you spend chatting it up with your fellow managers? Allot that time working with and for your team. They’re the ones that do the work you need done. Show them how important they are. Drive their passion. Believe it or not, not everyone is just out for a paycheck. Some people actually want to contribute to a team and feel like their work matters. Kick up for those people.

2. Inspire, don’t threaten.

This should go without saying, but people work better when they don’t worry they might not have a job at the end of the day. At best, it’s slightly distracting. Make them work hard and efficiently by inspiring them. Threats communicate a lack of confidence, which will inhibit your team’s overall performances. Show them they play a vital role and that you trust them to play that role well.

3. You are the example.

If you’re a parent, you know how it is to be watched and imitated constantly. Your team members look to you as an example of what they should do. If you want them to show up on time and regularly, you show up on time every single day. If you want them to let you know when they’ll be gone for a dentist appointment, inform them of your appointments. If you want them to fill you in on their projects, fill them in on yours. Bonus: this opens avenues of general communication.

4. Be honest.

It’s hard to critique. No one wants to sit an employee down and discuss a problem, but if you don’t, they might not know a problem even exists. And then it gets worse. Be direct, be honest. You’re the manager, it’s your job to initiate the tough talks and make the employer-employee relationship function properly.

5. Lead.

Let’s dive deep into a dynamic, forward-thinking, high-level creative ecosystem. Is your team staring at you confused? It’s nice to allow them to solve problems without too much direction, but give them some direction. If your team’s work is consistently not quite what you’re looking for, you’re likely not being clear enough. Adjust your management style as needed, even if that’s per employee.

Tl;dr: Get the best work from your team by working for them. Encouragement and communication are a win for everyone.