Three Skills Every Leader NeedsThe traits that make up a good leader vary depending on the organization, team, or work environment. If you want to thrive in a management position, it’s important to recognize the qualities good leaders share.

There was an interesting Inc. article by Peter Gasca about his experience working with a CEO who didn’t have any experience in his industry. He had reservations about how her background and management style could lead his business.

The “higher-ups” brought in someone from the outside to run the company he worked for at the time. She was a female CPA named Kathy. A CPA running a construction company wasn’t something he expected, however as time wore on she led the company to growth and they became one of the top home builders in their area.

“Kathy was able to lead our team and achieve this success by having a set of skills that trumped any specific skill needed to build a home or develop a piece of property,” says Gasca.

She did a few things to motivate her team, and these are things any leader can easily put into practice.

Engage with Your Employees and Surroundings

Leaders value their time as well as that of others. They have structure to meetings and add substance to discussions.

In Gasca’s case, Kathy knew how to manage people. She had weekly manager meetings, and maneuvered around difficult constructions issues through engagement with the managers.

“She knew everyone's strengths and weaknesses, and she allocated "us" accordingly. Maybe more important, she did everything in a manner that was personable and often humorous, but never disrespectful or derogatory,” Gasca adds.

Leaders need to be available for their employees. Although Kathy was at the top of the organization, she made it a priority to spend time with everyone in the company.

Encourage Your Team

Yes, vision is important, but you have to encourage the people around you to believe in that vision. Kathy encouraged Gasca to stay at the company, without any promises, when he was recruited. She shared where he stood with the company and encouraged his growth and development.

“The ultimate encouragement came when she promoted me to director of purchasing,” he adds.

Demand Accountability

When your team has deliverables or tasks due, hold them accountable, but know you are accountable for things as well.

For example, Gasca and his team would wait for a phone call or visit to their desk if they hadn't met a deadline. If it was around the time of a manager meeting, they knew they were in the hot seat and had to accept responsibility for their missed deadlines.

Kathy “had a way to instill fear for missed deadlines, which always motivated us to get things done. She also took a great deal of responsibility herself, and we never wanted to let her down,” he says.

Successful leaders not only build their business, they lead people. No matter what size your business, you need to be a leader to whom they’ll commit. Kathy served her team and put them first. When you do this, you’ll receive their loyalty and hard work.

Do you think these traits trump all others? What traits do you look for in a leader? 

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram