Leadership is a quality that is universal.  Although it may be discussed more among upper management, showing these qualities at any level make you a better employee and team player.  Those same qualities will also get you noticed around time for a promotion.  Whether you are already a leader, or hoping to someday become one, look over these qualities and see how many you can say you have.

  • Honesty – This may seem like a given, but it can be far too underestimated.  Whatever business you are in, no matter who you work for, honesty is a reflection of your character.  If you lie to your staff, they will lie to you.  This can be harder than you think, especially as a manager.  It is sometimes easier to lie than to tell the truth on why a project failed or why an employee was passed up for promotion.  As a leader you want to protect your employees, but you have to be honest or they will turn on you.
  • Confidence – When the plan starts to crumble, you need to be able not only pick up the pieces, but see what the pieces can build next.  Showing that you are calm and in control during a crisis will carry to the rest of the team.  Confidence should be shown in your actions and words, and you shouldn’t let others see your uncertainty.   Maintaining a sense of morale is important, as well as putting out fires that threaten your team’s confidence.
  • Delegate – Learning to delegate duties and assignments is a difficult task in itself.  One must balance work between employees not only based on sheer amount, but also on specialty or strength.  Knowing your employees strengths and weaknesses is key to running a well-oiled machine.
  • Communication – Clearly communicating is one of the most important things to be stressed in this list.  This is just as important in text as it is in person, so be careful not to send ambiguous emails to your coworkers assuming they will understand what you mean.  Knowing what you want may be clear in your head, but transferring that knowledge clearly and succinctly can be more difficult that you may imagine.
  • Commitment – Don’t spend every second talking about how much you hate your job, especially not in front of your employees.  It’s a stress inducer and can also make your staff feel useless.  Why would you care about them if you don’t care about the job?  Be committed to the job and invested in your staff.  If they win you win.  Not only will you be happier from day to day, but you will create an environment that is more positive and productive.
  • Humor – Now Human Resources staff may not agree with this one, but every good leader needs to be able to take a joke.  If you are so stuck up that a funny comment or remark from an employee gets them reprimanded, well say goodbye to any employee loyalty.  The workplace is meant for that, work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a giggle now and then.