||Four Leadership Traits You Can Develop Now
By Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager
The following was originally posted on the Sodexo Careers blog, where you can add your thoughts on social networking and job hunting.
One of my first leadership positions was as treasurer for my senior class in high school. It was an empowering opportunity, because I felt I was given so much responsibility – yet, looking back, I now see how this was just one step in developing my own leadership skills that have served my career for the past 20 years.
Whether you're just starting out or you've been building your career for some time, consider incorporating these leadership qualities into your day-to-day activities as a way to advance your leadership skills.
- Serve as a Role Model
Good leaders often exemplify behaviors and characteristics that they want to see in those who follow them, i.e., employees they supervise. They don't just talk the talk; they walk the walk – and often serve as mentors. As a result, these individuals are often admired and others will seek to emulate their behaviors. So, to develop leadership skills, try to exhibit the qualities you would like to see in your team members and model them in your daily behaviors.
- Listen and Communicate Effectively
Good leaders take the time to really listen to those around them and offer an open communication style. With open lines of communication, team members feel comfortable approaching their leaders. So, to develop leadership skills, become a better listener and work on both your verbal and nonverbal skills as you communicate with others.
- Have a Positive Attitude
Good leaders often have a positive attitude towards life, their work and the people around them. This helps them be an inspiration, even in tough times. To develop your leadership skills, work on looking at the glass as half full. This doesn't mean that you develop an unrealistic view of reality in bad situations, but instead leaders will try to stay positive to give their team hope.
- Keep Trying New Things
Inspirational leaders are often willing to learn new things, no matter how high their position on the organizational chart. As you develop your leadership skills, be willing to learn new things, to find new ways to inspire and motivate others, and to become more like those who lead you successfully.
Some people think that either you're born as a leader or you're not. But, if you take the time to really study effective leadership, you'll quickly learn that there are many paths to becoming an exceptional leader. What skills can you work on today to position yourself for leadership success?