Leadership competencies: what makes a good boss?
Outstanding professional expertise alone will not get you promoted to the executive floor. Good leadership is mainly a question of character. These seven important characteristics are the mark of a real leader. How to impress your superiors and clock up points with your colleagues.
Leadership competencies 1: Self-confidence – be convincing with self-assurance
A self-assured demeanour is an absolute must for a leader in their day-to-day working life. If you want to get your colleagues excited about your ideas, above all you must believe in yourself. Be self-confident and stand fully and completely behind what you say. Be an example of your ideals and visions. Then you will also be able to convince your colleagues of them.
Leadership competencies 2: Respect – give others recognition
Good leaders know how valuable their colleagues are – and show it too. Value your team and recognise their achievements. Praise motivates, spurs people on and makes it a little easier when you occasionally have some negative criticism. Because anyone who feels appreciated is more likely to take on suggestions for improvement than someone who is constantly reprimanded.
Leadership competencies 3: Ability to accept criticism – admit weaknesses
Experience in leading teams is often a basic prerequisite for getting a leadership role. But studies show that new employees are often just as good for the job. The reason: they are better at taking criticism.
You will only be a competent leader if you can reflect on your own work and collect meaningful feedback from your colleagues. Take criticism seriously and change something. This way you can keep on improving.
Leadership competencies 4: Decisiveness – don't hesitate too long
Make decisions. Nothing is worse than a leader who doesn’t act. A lack of action means going backwards for every department or company. Don’t think about it too long and trust your judgement. But also admit your own mistakes and learn from the consequences.
You should also inform your team about your decisions at the right time. You don’t have to justify your decision, but you should be able to give reasons for it with good arguments.
Leadership competencies 5: Empathy – imagine yourself in your colleague’s shoes
Your team is more than a collection of skilled workers. See every colleague as individual human beings. It is one of the responsibilities of leaders to show empathy. This does not mean you have to form friendships with them or organise a team event every second weekend.
Listen to your staff openly. Ask if you notice that a team member keeps to themselves or changes. Show understanding for problems and concerns. Because trust and lack of fear are the prerequisites for your staff to really contribute and identify with your company.
Leadership competencies 6: Trust – rely on your team
Give your colleagues the space to find their way to the goal themselves. Trust the qualities of your staff – even if you would have done it differently. The result is what counts in the end.
Delegate tasks and tolerate mistakes. Don’t try to do everything yourself. You’re better off finding out what your colleague’s strengths are. That doesn’t subtract from your leadership qualities, but rather will reduce your workload and strengthen the team’s self-confidence.
Leadership competencies 7: Courage – think big and forge new paths
Demonstrate creative thinking and don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box. Your staff will take care of day-to-day business. Your task as a good leader is to question things, to spread enthusiasm for new things, initiate innovative projects and lead the company into the future. So show courage and adapt the company strategy to new developments in the sector.