28 Nov 2012

The Traits of a Leader

Article on - The Traits of a Leader

The list of benefits that leadership development provides is endless. From improved productivity to longer employee retention rates, good leaders concern themselves with several aspects of their team members while achieving positive results. Factors like passion and interest serve to motivate but without action, are nothing more than unused potential.

If you are seeking to develop your leadership or take up a leadership role, what you need to build on are traits and skills that your team members, co-workers and even clients will be able to see and respect. In other words, you need to work on your role!

Here are some main points on what can help build a firm foundation for great leadership:

Lead by example

This is one of the best steps you can take to build a great impression as a leader. Showing people that you walk the talk will make gaining their respect a lot easier. It shows that not only do you take your own advice seriously but more importantly, that what you are asking from them is clearly achievable.

So if you want your team members to be punctual, start coming to work on time. Also, make sure you keep to it regularly, exactly how you want your team to be doing their work.

Staying in the picture

While your team member will not appreciate having you breathe down their neck, you should not leave yourself out of the picture entirely. If you see a problem happening, go ahead and speak with the team member involved.

For instance, if you have a team member who is constantly late for appointments, sit him/ her down and find out how the situation can be improved. From there, give the team member some room to improve and check in on them once in a while. Likewise, you should give recognition to team members who have been performing well instead of leaving them alone, hoping that they ‘keep it up’.

Effective communication

The first point you want to note is that communication is always a two-way thing, and that it begins with listening. After all, how will you understand your employees or team members’ issues if you don’t hear from them first, before giving them directions?

When it comes to giving out directions, always make sure that they are clear and as detailed as possible. If you give vague and ambiguous pointers on how you want things done, then do not be surprised if their results are just as ‘specific’.

The three points I’ve shared with you form only part of the process in becoming a good leader. However, because they help to form a firm foundation, these are things you will want to develop first, before attempting to make any earth-shaking changes.


A founding member of the John Maxwell Team, Jim Khoo is an independently certified John Maxwell Leadership trainer. He aids both personal and professional growth through the study and practical application of John’s proven leadership methods. This is done through workshops, seminars, keynote speaking and coaching. Jim has a proven track record in leading large organizations and is skilled at motivating staff with diversified cultural backgrounds, consistently delivering results and meeting operational goals. Working together with him will allow you and your team/ organisation to move closer and reach your goals, while building up strong leaders along the way.