Written by Tejas Ajmeri and Ranelli Williams, CPA, MBA

In our previous blog, 5 Things Every Nonprofit Organization Needs, one of the necessities we mentioned was good leadership. In this blog, we address the qualities a good leader needs to run their business effectively and efficiently.

To gain the leadership title, many people must trust and respect your work ethic and ambitions. Whether you’re the captain for your baseball team or a manager for your company, those around you will constantly depend on you to provide the proper leadership, advice, and passion to guide ¬†the path. Although there is not one set course to being a good leader, each successful one has qualities that are universal. Here are five qualities that every good leader has.

The Ability to be Clear and Concise

Communication is one of the most vital aspects of leading. In order to get a team on the same page, the leader must be able to evoke what he plans for the group to do, and how they will do it without micromanaging; It may sound easy, but getting a group of people who may not share the same values as you to believe in your vision and follow your plan for execution is a difficult task. That is why it is important to be clear with your instructions and about your intentions.

If a leader is not good at vocalizing or leading a team through communication, many things can go wrong, as necessary information may be withheld, and can possibly be a detriment to the work or goal that you are working towards. No matter what, building a strong sense of communication should be one of the first things that a good leader  implements with the group that they are leading. If a leader is good at communicating, then good results will likely follow.

Passionate

Would a leader really be a good one if they were not passionate about what they do? There are many instances where leaders dread the predicaments that they are in, and are often uninspired to make the necessary efforts required to achieve goals that have been set. This has such a negative effect on the group, as the one person who is supposed to hold the group together, has not interest in doing so. This leads the group to be a dysfunctional one.

When a leader is passionate, people will gravitate and be inspired to work towards the same goal that there leader is. Having that ambition and drive to succeed, and projecting it unto others around you shows that that person is passionate about what they do, and that they will push themselves and their teams to their maximum potential. The same way that the influential leaders attitude reflects negatively on the team, similarly the passionate leaders vibes will reflect positively on the team. Having that drive and motivation to do something undoubtedly pushes others to be their best selves, which is why every good leader must be passionate in what they do.

Humility

Every leader should understand that everyone will make mistakes, including themselves. People gravitate towards humility, simply because those people are considered to be lovable and caring. Understanding where others are coming from, being humble, and being grateful for the position that they are in is evidence that a leader deserves the position that they have been granted. Showing humility will also prove to others that they are relatable and that they care about the team that they lead. This in turn will make those supporting you believe in you, and want to work towards the same goals that they have in place. Showing humility can go a long way, and will help any leader build relationships and trust within their group and beyond.

The Ability to Say Hard Truths and Make Hard Choices

Every leader will face instances in which they will have to make crucial decisions. These decisions are a lot to consider, as in many instances they can make or break a company, team, or even an individual person. As a leader, you have an effect on those that you are leading, as well as the families that are related to those that you are leading. Sometimes leaders have to let workers go, or have to decide on what kind of health insurance you want to provide for your employees, or decide on many other things that can have an impact on their workplace, home, or their team overall.

Whatever the case may be, a good leader must be able to make crucial decisions. Being the leader of a group means that they bare the main responsibility of delegating tasks, and determining what’s best for them and their team. Sometimes these decisions may have a negative impact on certain people, but doing what’s best for the team on a whole is key. Every leader has to stand by of each decision they make, and must never look back.

Lead By Example

Excellent leaders establish great teams by setting the standards of excellence themselves. In order to lead by example, there are a lot of qualities and promises that leaders have to live up to. One of the mistakes that many leaders make are accidentally setting double standards. Each word and action that is taken by a leader is taken into consideration by everyone around them; Which is why it is vital that every good leader remains consistent with the words they preach.

Not only is staying consistent one of the main attributes to leading by example, but delivering on promises they make can go a long way as well. Every leader has a following around them that relies on their Leader to lead them into the proper direction to achieve the goals that they want to obtain. In every instance, the leader must show that he is devoted to the task at hand, and is working just as hard to reach that goal as everyone else is. If a leader is able to keep up with their promises, and is able to live by the law that they preach, then their following will always look towards them without any doubt in their mind. If not, motivation and trust will eventually begin to waver and eventually have a negative impact on morale, leading to reduced productivity.

Therefore, all good leaders should go by this quote from Albert Schweitzer, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”