7 Leadership Qualities You Must Have (or Learn)

Great Leader - Nelson Mandela

Great Leader – Nelson Mandela

Leaders are not born, leaders are made. Actually, it’s probably some combination of the two, but to what degree is not subject here. Leaders can be made, one can learn to lead, and leadership is not unique to introverts or extroverts. With 15 years of experience in human resources and an MS in Leadership and Influence from Northwestern University, Jason Hanold has learned what it takes to be a leader himself and how to find the right leaders for multiple Fortune 100 Companies.

Jason Hanold’s Seven Key Leadership Qualities:

Risk Taking and Confidence

One quality, two facets. Confidence might be the one most recognizable trait of a leader. It is a trait that can be learned and must be practiced consistently. Confident people take risks because confident people know how to deal with failure. Great leaders take risks because they know with great risk comes great reward.

Sense of Humor and Positivity

If you are old enough to being reading this post you know that you will face difficult times throughout your life. For the executive, these problems are compounded. The problems are bigger and even the small issues can multiply to personnel problems. With a sense of humor you can learn not only to take your problems in stride but lead your employees to do the same, creating a positive workplace where making mistakes is understood as inevitable. Smile.

Communication and Ability to Delegate

Michael Jordan never did it alone, and for you Laker fans neither did Kobe. Great leaders like great players must learn to trust their teammates. A huge part of this is knowing your teammates or employees’ competencies and leverage those to not only make your company more efficient but empower others.


Delegation is great and all but leaders must work hard and demonstrate their commitment to the company. Often the best leaders are in the office before everyone arrives and long after everyone else is gone. This includes avoiding to waiver in what you say. No one will respect what you say. This goes back to the first quality – confidence. Make confident decisions and stick to them.

Ability to Adapt

Be agile. Startups are able to disrupt entire industries and dethrone huge multi-national companies because they are agile and able to adapt quicker. Great leaders have an ability to adapt to any situation and creatively solve problems that come across their desks.

Ability to Motivate

See Commitment. Great leaders motivate, great leaders inspire. The best way to achieve this is to work with employees on projects showing them just how much the company values hard work. Motivate with your words too.


Leaders are trusted. They are trusted with the most important tasks and they must be trusted by their employees. This quality brings all these qualities together in many ways. Failing to be honest undermines your communicative abilities, the confidence people have in what you say, and the your perceived commitment.


from Jason Hanold http://ift.tt/1m0IKZE
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