By Jim Wong, CPA | May 31, 2017

What defines a strong leader?

When it comes to determining what characteristics make up an effective leader, you’re likely to get plenty of different views depending on who you ask. After all, there are many traits that indicate whether or not a person has what it takes to be a really great leader. Some are subjective while others are more quantitative. However, as with anything, it takes practice to sharpen the necessary skills for leadership roles. Unless of course, those qualities are instilled in a person from an early age.

Again, it all depends on who you ask.

There are many articles out there that detail the ins and outs of strong leadership. In fact, I came across an article just recently that discusses some of the signs managers should look for in their colleagues when vetting out potential leaders. This topic is particularly important to me so I decided to share some of the information from the article, along with a few thoughts of my own. I’ve written about leadership before, and as the workplace continues to evolve and new leadership enters the corporate world—it bears repeating.

Learn the 5 Signs of a Strong Leader below!

1. They spread joy. 
We’ve all worked with that one person who instantly puts a smile on your face simply by walking into the office. This is the type of leader who spreads joy to the people around them, fosters an environment that’s welcoming and productive, and encourages teammates every day.

2. They give their teams a sense of purpose. 
In the article, the writer discusses that allowing employees to meet the people they are helping is a great motivator, even if it’s limited to a few minutes. While this isn’t a possibility in some companies or industries, strong leaders still manage to give their teams a sense of purpose. As a result, employees who feel like they belong often have a greater motivation to their role.

3. They champion people development. 
Great leaders know that developing their teams and helping them become better is absolutely essential to success. Exceptionally strong leaders identify their colleagues’ skills and help them sharpen those skills through personal and professional development programs.

4. They build trust. 
Strong leaders also know that in order to develop leaders, trust is essential. Managers and leaders who establish honesty and trust allow their teams to be open communicators and can discuss topics with ease. Which brings me to my next point.

5. They are open communicators. 
Similar to building trust, building an environment that encourages open communication is one of the hallmarks of a strong leader. When managers allow for open communication and transparency, teammates feel included and involved in the business, and they know that their opinions and thoughts matter to their manager.

What are some other characteristics of a strong leader? Comment below and let us know.

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