Being a leader comes with responsibility, but does it come with personality? It’s important for a leader to be knowledgeable, charismatic, and trustworthy. However, for these traits, there’s no blanket list of personality types that fits all.
Leaders are tasked with keeping their followers in line and making sure everything runs smoothly according to their vision. When someone is put in a leadership position, they need to make sure they can respond to any situation – from fixing a problem to developing solutions.
Each person has their own quirks and qualities that make them who they’re – and that makes the leadership role all the richer.
Everyone has the potential to be a leader
Not everyone has the Potential to be a Leader or is a born leader, but I believe that everyone has the ability to become a great leader, and everyone has a few personality traits that you need to master in order to become a successful leader.
You can identify what traits you’ve and what traits you don’t have. Some of the traits are more important than others.
As a leader, you should be able to:
- Be a role model for everyone
- Give direction to your followers
- Inspire, motivate and engage others
- Communicate effectively
- Maintain a positive attitude even in difficult times
- Accept criticism from others
- Get along with people of all personality types
- Delegate and transfer responsibility to those who’ve the right skills and leadership qualities
- Know how to plan, organize and lead
- Effective leaders should have these leadership traits:
- Open-mindedness and creativity
- Integrity and transparency
- Strategic thinking
- Emotional intelligence
- Decision making skills
- Be good at problem solving
- Exude competence
Born Leaders vs. Trained Leaders
A true leader is someone who possesses certain traits that make them a strong leader. These traits can be taught to anyone. It’s hard to disprove that a person with these traits is more successful than someone without them, but there are also many examples of people without these traits who’ve been successful in their leadership roles.
According to some surveys, true leaders can be both natural leaders or trained leaders.
Leadership is a very broad term that encompasses many different aspects of a person’s life.
True leaders can be excellent teachers. They can influence their vision through their words, their actions, and their attitude. That is the identifier of great leadership.
Natural-born leaders have a natural gift and innate qualities to lead. In contrast, trained leaders are those who’ve been taught how to lead through a set of skills or processes.
Some people believe that trained leaders are more successful, others believe that born leaders have a better chance. However, born leaders inherently possess some of the necessary traits to lead effectively and they can also be trained to be great leaders.
Born leaders and trained leaders aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are necessary for effective leadership. Rather, they complement each other.
Born leaders have the innate qualities to lead, but to be effective, they must be trained.
From the experience of leading various teams, I know that it’s not about being born with leadership qualities, or trained. It’s about having the willpower to lead and learn. Even if you’re born with leadership skills, it’s unlikely that you’ll have them all, and if you do, you can still master them – sometimes via a leader development program.
A Good Leader Should Unite Not Divide
Good leaders should unite, not divide.
The leader’s role is to bring people together, not tear them apart. If you’re an uniter, you can help unite people by addressing their interests and concerns.
If you divide, you only create conflict among those who’re having a hard enough time as it’s. Discord creates discord and only helps the enemy.
A unifier can bring people together by doing things that benefit people as a whole, such as helping to build a stronger community or developing programs that help the less fortunate.
Strengths and Weaknesses as a Leader and as a Person
By dealing with your weaknesses (being aware of them and how they affect you), you can become a better leader and a better person. Strong leaders are those who can accept their own weaknesses.
It’s important to understand that being a leader isn’t about being perfect, but working with your strengths and weaknesses.
As a leader, you can use your strengths to lead and teach, and you can delegate leadership to others if you aren’t the best at it.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that we can’t be perfect.
What does vulnerability have to do with leadership?
Society is full of people who’re always trying to prove themselves and win the game. This is at odds with the role of leadership, which is to create connections and relationships.
Many people think that vulnerability is a weakness. They do everything they can to avoid feeling vulnerable or exposed.
However, vulnerability can be a powerful leadership tool. It allows you to connect with your followers on an emotional level and builds trust. It also helps build resilience, confidence, empathy, authenticity, and courage.
We live in a world where it’s become increasingly difficult to create a sense of community.
Introverts vs. Extroverted Leaders
Extroverts and introverts are more similar than they may seem. The main difference is how they recharge their energy.
Extroverts may need more social interaction and use alone time to recharge, but introverts need more downtime with themselves or people close to them.
Introverts often have more patience and can think better when they plan ahead rather than having to improvise in the moment.
The working world is often dominated by extroverted leaders. As an introvert, it can be difficult to stand out and make yourself heard. But that doesn’t mean introverts are always the weaker choice – in some cases, they’re more successful than extroverted leaders and are sometimes more trusted.
Which Leadership Style Suits You Best?
Leadership styles come in all shapes and sizes.
From a laissez-faire approach to a more directive style, leadership can be summed up as responding to the needs of the team.
So what type of leader are you?
In general, people who have a natural preference for a hands-on approach tend to resist less authoritarian styles. In today’s world, leadership styles are as varied as the personalities they represent.
To be a successful leader, it’s important to know which style best fits your own personality. Here are a few of the most popular leadership styles:
Authoritarian leaders want people to follow their ideas and orders. This style involves yelling at people and not listening to what they’ve to say. It can lead to a lot of stress and low motivation.
Participative or democratic: A form of leadership that emphasizes the importance of the team and the collective decision-making process. The leader seeks feedback from all members and creates an environment where everyone feels valued and has a voice.
Delegative leadership: a form of leadership in which the leader delegates tasks and responsibilities to others who typically have more experience or knowledge than he or she does.
Transformational leadership: the leader uses his or her personality and energy to inspire others to action. Leaders often use these techniques to bring about change in their organizations or in society.
This type of leadership empowers individuals and groups to rise above their current circumstances to achieve something extraordinary.
Transformational leadership is characterized by the belief that individuals can act before their circumstances change, and it helps people remove any limitations they’ve placed on themselves.
There’s a great article on the most common leadership styles that I recommend you read.
How You Can Learn From Other Leaders to Help You Become a Better Leader
You can’t just learn about leadership in school or in leadership training or coaching. The best way to learn about leadership is to study the work of great leaders in history, both present, and past.
Great leaders are able to learn from their mistakes, but they must also be able to draw lessons from other sources.
Leaders have learned from other leaders to become better leaders.
For example, many revolutionaries in Latin America were inspired by Simón Bolivar, who in turn was inspired by his teacher and mentor Simón Rodríguez. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela were both inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
New generations also have their own role models; for example, Greta Thunberg recently met her role model Malala Yousafzai.
By learning from great leaders, you’ll not only learn how to lead well or solve problems, but you’ll also learn to develop your own charisma and talent, better understand the different leadership positions, and find out what your main strength is to build your own success.
As an entrepreneur and leader of a community organization, this has helped me the most in my leadership development:
- Finding role models (usually born leaders) who excel in leadership, emotional and social intelligence.
- Identifying my natural talents to understand what leadership skill I need to focus on.
- Getting to know personality traits and characters to better understand people.
- Experiencing teamwork has helped me improve my emotional, social intelligence, and adaptability.
- I’ve tried to improve my natural leadership skills by participating in leadership coaching and learning about leadership development.
- Coaching and mentoring others.
- Learning about leadership roles and leadership styles.
- Taking on different leadership positions to get as much hands-on experience and practice as possible.
- Always asking for feedback from all levels.
- Recognizing when it’s important to take a break.
Anyone can read a lot of advice about good leadership, but ultimately everyone’s leadership is unique, and like everyone else, you’ll make mistakes.
The magic of leadership development isn’t where you started or how you started, but what you do next, what you learn, how you grow, and how you can contribute to a better society. That’s why it’s so important to have good leaders who follow through on their commitment and are willing to learn from their mistakes.
I’ve seen people who’ve been called born leaders and failed, and trained leaders who’ve become effective leaders. I think the most important thing is why you want to be a leader.
The vision that drives you is your greatest chance for success in achieving your goals.