Are you a good leader? It’s one of those questions that can be difficult to answer, but examining if you’re managing people effectively is essential. Whether you are just starting in the leadership role or have years of experience under your belt, there are specific characteristics and behaviors any manager should strive for—qualities that will help foster a positive work environment and ensure successful results.
In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of what makes a successful leader so that you can better assess how well your management style is serving you and your team.
Signs of a Good Leader
A good leader doesn’t necessarily want to be “the boss.” Instead, they want to guide their team to success. They don’t want to control; they want to lead.
A good leader doesn’t lead with intimidation or fear. Instead, they use assertive communication, active listening, and collaboration. They understand that business leadership is not congruent with fear tactics or control.
Good leaders display integrity. They’re trustworthy and always do their best to follow through when they say they will do something. In addition, they have high emotional intelligence and empathy, so they can understand their teams and meet them on their level.
They’re also excellent communicators. They’re highly adaptable. Rather than becoming frustrated when something goes wrong, they “roll with the punches.”
A good leader will have an easier time establishing trust with their team. As a result, they’ll be able to provide a healthier workplace environment, and their employees will maintain good morale. Happy employees are productive, which is a net positive for the business.
Signs of a Poor Leader
Not every leader is a good one. Poor leaders are easier to spot than good leaders, as they tend to make themselves stand out (and not in a good way).
They prioritize themselves, and they’re often concerned with appearances over results. They tend to be controlling and domineering and are not good at taking criticism. While a good leader is always learning, a poor leader believes they have nothing to learn.
Poor leaders micromanage rather than let employees work on their own. They don’t have good communication skills. They don’t display empathy, and they tend to be aggressive communicators.
Poor leadership is evident in any workplace. For example, regular team meetings may be tense and unproductive, employees may dread going to work or fear talking to their “leader,” and there may be a high employee turnover.
Poor leaders, however, rarely blame themselves. Instead, they will never accept that they are the problem.
How to Evaluate Your Leadership Skills
So how can you know if you’re a good leader? The fact that you’re reading this makes it clear that even if you’re not yet a great leader, you’re on your way. After all, bad leaders don’t think they have anything to learn.
Consider doing some self-reflection exercises. Try to see them from the point of view of one of your employees to see if you displayed good leadership. It’s helpful to keep a journal of your interactions with your employees so you can look back at them later.
Ask for feedback from your higher-ups or even peers that you respect. If you know a good leader, ask them to shadow you.
Consider sending anonymous surveys to your team. As long as they don’t fear retaliation, they should be able to provide helpful leadership feedback. On the other hand, if they do fear retaliation, it’s a sign that you may not be showing good leadership.
Are You a Good Leader?
So what do you think? Are you a good leader or on your path toward becoming one? Look for the signs and start making improvements so you can be great.
At Fire Up & Lead, we help average leaders turn into great ones. Contact us to learn how we can help you today.