Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

Content provided by a guest contributor.

Qualities to consider

Leaders and managers are often identified as the same, but there is one very distinct difference: a leader mentors and takes part in tasks together with their teams, unlike managers. Managers delegate tasks and focus their energy on a hierarchy system. Leaders don’t fixate about being superior. And, naturally, employees will respect people who are genuinely willing to go the extra mile to help someone grow.

A leadership role can be extremely rewarding. But it can also be emotionally taxing if you’re stuck in your ways and not willing to grow with your team. Industries are constantly changing, and in order to keep adding value, you need to keep learning and changing your approach. This role will teach you things that will add value to your existing qualities, and together with your team, you can strive towards a bigger purpose. In order to be a “good” leader, there are certain qualities that set you apart from others. Some of these qualities can be learned by attending courses for team leaders. And undergoing such training can have a significant impact on your company’s B-BBEE scorecard rating.

Here are some qualities you need to possess if you want to lead a group of people.

Be honest with your actions

If you want to be a good leader, you need to be honest. You need to show transparency in your words and in the way you treat your staff. For instance, if you lack honesty when communicating with your staff, how do you expect your colleagues to offer you the same type of honesty in their actions? Always remember that the type of qualities you reflect from the top filters through to your staff and inspires them.

Be confident and assertive in your decisions

Being confident does not mean being rude or passive aggressive. If you are confident when making decisions, it will show your authority and people will start to admire your strength. Fellow employees can pick up when you are unsure about your decisions because they will start to sense the uncertainty you project. You also want people to trust your decisions, so allow them to trust you through your actions.

Inspire others through your work

Encouraging people to follow your actions should be effortless when people look up to you. This is one of the best things about being a leader: not having to force people to do the dirty work or perform tasks they’re unhappy with. It’s up to you to set the example you want people to follow. People monitor how you respond to situations, which can either steer them away or generate a positive impact. Every working environment has their own stresses and frustrations, but the way you choose to react to situations will greatly affect your employees, causing them to become just as stressed out as you are.

Show your commitment and passion to your team

You need to be committed to your team if you want to add value to their lives. If you expect them to give you attention, you need to be offering them the same in return. Employees want to feel supported in their jobs and when they’re not experiencing the energy and upliftment they expect you to give them, they will struggle to perform to your expectations. It’s wonderful being a leader for the title, but if you’re not following through on your duties and motivating your employees, you’ll soon frustrate people.

Work on your communication and presentation skills

Communication is key when leading a team. Depending on the size of your team, you might find yourself having to present to them from time to time. Or to the company at large, for that matter. Either way, you will need to be able to effectively communicate your message and inspire people through your voice. Many people aren’t necessarily good public speakers, which is why presentation skills training would be beneficial to help you become more comfortable with speaking to a large audience if need be.

Take responsibility for your team

There are always going to be issues that need to be solved. Internally or externally. And sometimes you’re going to have to “take one for the team”. Always be accountable for your team, and allow them to shine when they’ve gone above and beyond to do a good deed. Of course, hold them accountable for their actions and show them that they’re wrong if they have made a costly mistake. But also praise them when they’re doing something right. This will teach your team that you’re serious about your actions.

Focus on your emotional intelligence

One of the key qualities a leader needs to possess is empathy, something you learn in induction training. If you want your colleagues to confide in you, you will need to show them that you’re willing and open to their questions. Empathy can also change the way you make decisions and how to delegate within your team. You need to be able to pick up on emotional cues and respond to people accordingly.

The content in this article was provided by Shannon Ash, Senior Writer: Rogerwilco.

About Rogerwilco:

We’re a full-service multi-award winning South African marketing agency that thinks, crafts and elevates revenue generating campaigns for leading brands and NPOs. Over the past decade, the business has grown into one of the largest independently owned performance marketing agencies in South Africa. Today, we’re a multi award winning agency that retains a performance marketing focus but is rapidly extending its offering into broader omni-channel marketing.

We work from offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and service clients in the B2C, B2B and NPO sectors - while much of our work is for South African organisations, roughly a quarter of our revenue comes from international clients who have chosen to outsource their marketing requirements to South Africa.

Rogerwilco: We hear you. We understand you. We will comply.

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