Leadership – What Do You Value?

What qualities do you look for in a leader or manager? This is often a question we ask throughout the interview process and a question that some struggle to answer. When you really think about the qualities you value in a leader, what comes to mind? Is it how they communicate, their self-awareness, flexibility, compassion or something else? And when you recognise a few of these in a potential leader or manager, does this motivate you and encourage you to be the best you can be? We asked our team what they value in a leader and found some common qualities amongst us:

I believe a leader must lead with integrity in order to lead successfully, in addition with having a sense of honesty and strong morals that they can instil in their workplace or team to guide meaningful work.
Communication is a non-negotiable for me, and I’m guessing it is for many other people. Open and honest communication is what most relationships are built on and this is no exception in the workplace. This is also something that goes both ways in terms of employee to employer and employer to employee. Communication is the foundation of trust.
Now more than ever I am seeking a leader/manager who strives to understand their employees/colleagues. Having a genuine understanding of what makes me tick, what motivates me and where I can be an asset.

The traits/characteristics I value and respect in a leader are:

  • Authenticity; they need to walk the talk and do what they say they’ll do.
  • Courage, take risks; lead the way and challenge the status quo, be willing to make the hard decisions and be willing to stand up for what they believe in.
  • Their ability to create opportunities for their team members to grow, help them step out of their comfort zone and be the best they can be.
  • Their willingness to ‘get in the trenches’ alongside their people so they can understand and appreciate the nuances/challenges of the work to be done; not someone who sits in their office and doesn’t roll their sleeves up and do the work at the right times.

If I can’t see or experience these traits in a leader, it would be very hard for me to follow them.

I look for a leader who is friendly and approachable, someone you can feel comfortable asking for help or advice from. I also value a leader who acknowledges and appreciates your efforts, and has trust in you to delegate you tasks and enable you to grow and develop your skills. Flexibility is important as well, as it helps with a work/life balance. When a leader is passionate about what they do, helps to lift and motivate their team and creates a positive and inspiring work environment, I feel this is the most important.

The top things I look for in a leader are: communication, honesty, trust and that they’re culture driven.
I value a leader that communicates and shares the business’s goals and vision, and how my role contributes to that, which then shows that I am trusted do my job and do it well. A leader that is willing to be flexible and communicate regularly, ensuring we are having open and honest conversations. No bull$#!t!
Knowing that I can approach my leader at any time is really important to me; along with having a culture that is encouraging and a leader that understands my strengths and weaknesses, encourages professional growth and has the ability to put the right people together who will then motivate and inspire each other.

Some of the most important qualities I look for in a manager, which will also give me a good feeling about working for them and the business, is how they communicate with me, their ability to collaborate and adapt their communication styles between different people and situations, and their self-awareness. If I can recognise these qualities in a potential leader, I get enthusiastic and excited to think of all the possibilities and things that can be accomplished when we have the opportunity to collaborate and work together with that person leading the team and business.
If a leader has these qualities, then I’m excited to join their team and it gives me instant confidence in them as a leader.

Qualities that I look for and appreciate in a leader are: integrity, honesty, open communication, energy/enthusiasm and empowerment. To summarise, I value working for someone who is ethical and will do the right thing (even if it is a detriment to their own business/sales), who will be honest and provide feedback to me and others, who’s willing to discuss and share ideas, and has the ability to see both sides of any scenario. I value working for a leader who is energetic, motivated and passionate about what they do and what we are trying to achieve. A true leader will invest in their staff to give them the confidence and skills to succeed in their role and the freedom to do so.

The qualities and characteristics I look for in a manager/leader is their passion for the field they are working in, along with being empathetic and having integrity. It’s important for me to look for someone who is flexible, open to others’ ideas and provides consistency in their day-to-day management.
These qualities are important to me as passion, empathy and integrity drive me to enjoy my work.  Passion, in particular, is infectious and creates a following. Without passion, a great manger/ leader is not able to lead or grow their team.

In a leader, I look for someone that leads from the front; someone that builds a work culture of mutual trust and communicates honestly.
I think it’s important for leaders to lead from the front so that they‘re equipped to deal with the challenges that their staff face and so they can be prepared when they occur. I think that leadership is about inspiring people and giving them the faith to try new things to achieve what they never thought they could. I think that the best kind of leaders are able to communicate in a variety of ways and are able to change the way they communicate to their different team members to ensure everyone is on the same page.

The top qualities I look for in a manager/leader are:
Trust – To me, trust is having the confidence to have open and honest conversations with your manager, sometimes this means discussing the hard things. For example, having uncomfortable conversations result in receiving constructive feedback. But by having these frank conversations, it builds and reinforces the belief in your potential. This builds your trust in your manager’s feedback.
Passion – When you’re passionate about something, you can’t help but think about it, work at it and be excited about it. I look for a manager who is able to bring me along for the journey, show me how my work contributes to the bigger picture and how what we (the company) do makes a difference. A leader communicating this passion is the reason I enjoy coming to work and love what I do.

Knowing, understanding and identifying the qualities you admire and value in a leader or manager can help you with the opportunities you’re faced with throughout a role and your career. The qualities you value in a leader or manager may change over time as your priorities and values change in life, so it’s worth taking some time to sit down and figure out the key things you value, especially if you find yourself at a turning point in your career.

Think about it, what qualities do you truly value in a leader? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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