The ability to inspire and influence are two of the most important traits any leader must have. But what does it take to be a good leader? Is it having a vision that you can communicate effectively to your team? Is it gaining respect and trust from your team? Does good leadership require intelligence, intuition, and initiative? Or is it simply holding true to your own convictions?
It may not surprise you that the answer is all of the above. Although situations calling for leadership vary from one to the next, the basic traits of a good leader are pretty consistent. I like to refer to these basic traits as The Three Cs for Confidence, Competence, and Common Sense.
Lets examine the first basic trait, confidence. A confident leader is capable of inspiring his/her team to achieve their goals. He has experienced success, made past sound decisions, has the courage to move forward and trusts that his team will get things done. He has no doubt that there will be positive outcomes and with his strong belief in his team, he is capable of earning their respect and trust. They believe in him as their leader and continue to make progress towards desired results.
The second trait is competence. A good leader must be knowledgeable in his/her field and not only know his area of expertise, but at least have some familiarity with his team members areas of expertise. He needs to be knowledgeable and skilled enough to provide suggestions, direction, guidance and feedback to his team in such a way that will continue to help them stay focused on their tasks and to perform their tasks well. He may serve as a role model, mentor or coach.
In order to gain competence, the leader must continue to stay abreast of the latest research and best practices in his field. He/She must believe in life-long learning and continuously participate in his own professional development and personal growth. Being a competent leader involves setting an example for high standards and committing to excellence. It requires proficiency, pride and, professionalism.
Finally, the third basic trait is common sense. Good leaders use good judgment. They think before they speak and consider all solutions to problems. They maintain integrity, have a strong work ethic, and take responsibility for the decisions they make and actions they take.
The three Cs of effective leadership (confidence, competence, and common sense) are absolutely essential traits for any good leader to have. Without them, it is difficult to inspire and influence your team. A lack of confidence results in a lack of faith to achieve your dreams and goals. You will lose the cooperation of your team. A lack of competence, results in slower progress and little chance of staying on course. A lack of common sense can cost you the respect of your team.
There are many additional traits that make up a recipe for effective leadership. The three Cs are your basic ingredients.
Originally published on January 15, 2012 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau