10 Characteristics of a Good Leader Your Boss Should Have
Every boss should share some fundamental characteristics of a leader, but unfortunately, not all do. Working for someone who isn’t a good leader — or, worse, is downright mean and uncaring — is a nightmare for employees. If you’re looking for a new position or considering whether to move to another department within your company, there are some essential characteristics you should look for when deciding whether you wish to work for someone.
Here are 10 characteristics of a leader you should look for to figure out whether someone has well-developed leadership skills.
1. Communicates Clearly
One of the top characteristics of a leader should be their communication skills. Employees shouldn’t have to guess what their boss is trying to say. Not only should instructions be clear and concise, but a good leader is open to questions that allow the worker to clarify what steps they should take to complete the task effectively.
2. Engages Workers
Keeping your workers engaged and happy in their jobs isn’t an easy task. Churn is a serious issue for most companies, as it requires precious time and resources to replace skilled workers who leave. Even though recognizing employees is a key way to keep them engaged, only 36.8 percent of company leaders said their company used some variety of recognition software.
3. Manages Time Effectively
A good leader understands they must manage their time, or it will manage them. They may have specific hours when employees can drop into their offices, rather than having an open-door policy. They set a good example that allows everyone to focus on work and not eat up time with endless meetings. They tend to use tools such as apps or day planners that help them schedule their time.
4. Passionate About Work
Great bosses are passionate about what they do. They see the greater cause behind the company’s mission, and they work hard to make sure everyone on their team sees that same purpose. While this is a trait of a great leader and inspires employees, a boss who is too passionate can also become a bit of a slave driver to employees who have lives of their own.
Look for a boss who is balanced enough to be passionate, but who also spends time with family and friends.
5. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Your boss should give credit for great ideas to the employees that brought that idea to them. If a co-worker takes credit for something you did, you need to know your boss has your back and you can approach them with concerns over the lack of transparency without it creating unnecessary drama at work. A great leader always shares the glory, rather than scooping it all up for themselves.
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6. Has a Good Reputation
If you don’t know much about the boss of a new position you’re up for, take the time to work your network and see what that boss’ reputation is with other people. If you are dealing with a leader who is on point, you should get positive feedback about the person. On the other hand, if the boss is a nightmare, you’ll soon learn about that as well.
7. Responds Quickly in Emergencies
No matter what type of work you do, you’ll run into an emergency at some point. A big order gets messed up, a co-worker collapses with convulsions or a new client demands results this minute. A strong leader understands the need to step up and get everyone on the same page in an urgent situation. They make fast, decisive decisions that keep the entire company from catastrophe.
8. Respects Others
A great leader understands everyone on the team has a purpose and respects each person’s contribution. A good boss treats the janitor the same as they treat the company’s CEO. Your boss should respect other people from every walk of life. If you see warning signs your boss or potential boss doesn’t respect others, it’s almost certain they won’t respect you at some point in your career.
9. Has Integrity
The best bosses have integrity. If they promise a bonus for reaching a certain amount of sales, they make sure to deliver on that promise for those who’ve met that goal. They don’t shift goals without warning, and they explain the reasons for any changes in the process. You don’t have to worry about this type of leader telling you one thing and telling their boss another.
10. Acts Humble
A great leader isn’t so full of themselves that their head barely fits through the office door. Instead, they are humble and remember where they came from and that they too were at an entry level at one point. They don’t think they are better than other people, and they treat everyone accordingly.
A Great Boss
There are times when the need to pay bills forces you to accept a position. The boss may be fantastic or a complete nightmare. However, armed with the essential characteristics a good boss has, you can begin to look for a position with the best boss you ever had. Pay attention to the little things, and you’ll see the character traits that make leaders who they are.
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Also published on Medium.