10 Leadership Traits for Becoming an Effective Leader

Being a good leader helps you transcend your role as a boss.

June 21, 2022
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Being a good leader helps you transcend your role as a boss.

Think of the best boss you’ve ever had. Chances are, they were an excellent example of a leader that inspired the entire team. 🌟

Granted, some people are born leaders. But almost anyone can become a good leader by developing leadership traits and practicing them consistently.

In this article, we walk you through 10 qualities of a good leader and why they’re important. Begin shaping yourself as a true leader with the following 11 leadership attributes.

  1. Great Communication

The best leaders are efficient communicators.

They’re great listeners who understand where the speaker is coming from before responding. And when leaders respond, they’re clear and clever in delivering their message.

As a good leader, you must strike a balance between being sincere and friendly. While some situations call for sincere communication, you don’t need to walk around with a serious look all the time.

Instead, get to know your employees a little better by striking a conversation. Lose the grumpy face and try to have friendly chats with your team more frequently.

Assembly offers a wide variety of solutions for improving external and internal communication. Schedule a demo to learn more.

  1. Growth Mindset

You can’t peek into a crystal ball to see what your team thinks about you.🔮

If you want to grow as a leader, proactively seek feedback from the team. Your team’s insights can help you fine-tune your leadership methodologies and approach. At the same time, it shows employees that you care about what they think.

You might ask yourself, “will my team be reluctant to share negative feedback?” 🤔

Well, maybe.

That’s why you need to allow employees to give feedback anonymously. You should also make the feedback process quick and easy. You don’t want it to feel like an extra task that the team has to get through.

If you use Assembly, you can get feedback from within the platform. It’s quick (literally takes seconds) and easy for you to create an anonymous feedback flow with the Manager Feedback template on Assembly.

It’s also a no-fuss experience for employees because the flow uses a rating system. The team members can quickly put in a rating instead of typing in a lot of text.

You can also customize the flow’s content based on your preference. Take a look at the flow in action:

  1. Vision

Great leaders have a vision and purpose guiding all actions and decisions. They also communicate their vision clearly with the team. The best leaders inspire their team to achieve their vision and steer the company in a specific direction.

The only problem? You can’t just start calling yourself a visionary. 😬

So, how do you build vision?

Start by researching trends within your industry. Can one of those trends help your company grow? Maybe more companies are going remote and need your tool for online communication.

Use these trends to determine a long-term, achievable goal that aligns with the company’s overall goals. Define a roadmap to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

Work on those goals consistently, and keep the team’s morale up high when they’re on the verge of giving up. Most importantly, be agile and open to change. The business environment changes constantly, so keep adapting your approach to the environment.

Schedule a demo to learn about how Assembly has helped companies build and share their vision with the team.

  1. Accountability and Responsibility

Lead by example when it comes to accountability and responsibility.

How would you feel if your boss gave you “the look” for being a few minutes late, even though they take 40-minute lunch breaks? 🤷 

As Arnold Glasgow points out, “A good leader takes little more than his share of the blame and little less than his share of the credit.”

You can hold employees accountable only when you practice what you preach.

And no, holding accountable doesn’t involve looking down on someone for poor performance. It involves helping employees navigate an issue they may be struggling with.

The best way to help team members? 

Check in with them often. Ask them if they need help. For instance, Assembly’s One-on-One with Direct Report template lets you automatically check in on employees at predefined intervals.

You can ask employees about their current priorities and if there’s anything they need help with.

Book time to chat to learn more.

  1. Humility

When you’re in a leadership position, it’s easy to feel like you’re above others.

Don’t fall into that trap. 🙅

The best leadership styles emphasize problem-solving and team dynamics, not entitlement. You can only lead a team successfully when you put them before yourself. Remember, you were once in their position too.

Be humble and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It makes you more relatable, and consequently, an effective leader.

When your team admires you, they’ll think long and hard about accepting an offer from another company. That’s exactly why good leaders can improve employee retention. They might even be open to referring their friends or ex-colleagues for vacant positions, which means you’ll have to spend less on hiring new talent.

Curious how your team feels about their leader? Use Assembly’s eNPS template. It’s a short survey that asks employees to provide insights on how likely they are to refer someone to the company.

Here’s how you can use the template:

Start for FREE with Assembly today.

  1. Empowerment

The drive to empower the team is one of the most valuable characteristics of a leader. Great leaders want to give their team wings, but also know how to retain them. Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

But how do you keep employees with the company when they have the option to leave?

Tricky, huh?

Let’s talk about both parts—empowering and retaining employees—separately.

Part one: empowering your team.

Provide the team with the training and resources they need to grow professionally:

  • Delegate: Sometimes, doing a task yourself is easier than delegating. But delegation empowers your team and builds their confidence.
  • Build trust: Don’t be a stranger. Connect with your team on a personal level and build trust. A tool like Assembly can provide a perfect platform to help teams build relationships and foster trust through transparency.
  • Encourage questions: Your team likely has questions. They might have strategy-level questions about the company or how a task is approached at the managerial level. Fuel their curiosity by answering their questions.

No time for AMAs? 

You can conduct an AMA online using Assembly’s Ask Me Anything template where you can answer everyone’s questions anonymously or keep them visible to everyone. You can answer whenever you have a few minutes—no need to organize an in-person AMA during work hours.

But what if they leave once you’ve invested all that time and energy into helping them grow?

Not cool. 😏

You can’t stop them against their will. And you won’t have to if you treat them well.

That brings us to part two: employee retention.

Employee retention is challenging when you don’t have insights into what your employees think of the company. The easiest way to get insights? Ask the employees about how they feel about the company with a career development survey. 

Assembly’s Career Development Survey template is a quick way to get the information you need to give your team an enjoyable work environment. Here’s a preview of how the template helps you collect insights:

When you take good care of your team, they’ll stick around for longer. 🙌

  1. Focus

Great leaders have their eyes on the prize. 🎯

When you run in multiple directions, you reach nowhere. Being able to focus your efforts on one goal at a time is one of the most critical leadership traits. Once you’re crystal clear about your goal, break it down into objectives. Assign clearly-defined objectives to the team based on what each team member does best.

Doing this will give you incredible momentum. You and your team will be working towards the same goal, which means you’ll get there faster and more efficiently.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence makes leading a team easier. 

It also makes you less prone to impulsive decisions. Leaders with a high emotional IQ have better control over their positive and negative emotions. For instance, when they receive a poor rating in the career development survey, they’ll start looking for ways to improve instead of feeling bad. They’ll see it as an opportunity to grow, not a betrayal from their team.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are just as composed on the other end of the emotional spectrum. For example, when high emotional IQ leaders overachieve, they stay grounded. They identify the reasons for overachievement and try to replicate them in the future. 

Others? They might just brag about it every day for the rest of the week.

  1. Creativity and Innovation

Both creativity and innovation are essential qualities of a good leader.

Leaders often need to take calculated risks to experiment with innovative ideas. Experimentation opens up new possibilities. It drives the organization to new fronts and helps navigate the constantly changing business environment. Leaders should also inspire and encourage creativity when tackling a challenge. Let the team know it’s okay to share ideas even when they feel the idea isn’t worth sharing.

The combined forces of creativity and innovation can be powerful enough to make you an industry leader. But remember, it’s crucial to be persistent in your attempts and fluid about your methods.

  1. Influence

For some, “influence” might have a negative connotation. Perhaps because people often equate influence with manipulation. But you're not manipulative when you transparently and honestly act in the company’s and the team’s best interests.

The ability to persuade someone with logic and emotions is one of the most valuable strengths of a leader.After all, you can’t start influencing a group of well-educated people on a whim, can you? You need to build authentic relationships and trust with the team to have influence.

Lead the Way 🏅

This isn’t an exhaustive list of qualities of a good leader, but the most important qualities a leader needs to succeed. A leader still needs other skills. For example, the skill to tactfully manage disputes among team members.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to internalize these qualities, lead a happier team, and achieve your professional milestones.

And if you’re ever looking for a way to keep your team happy, we’ve got your back. 😊 (here is a list of company swag ideas that might help along the way)

Assembly helps teams and leaders stay connected, allows leaders to engage with the team online, and automates parts of the workflow so leaders can focus on strategy rather than mundane tasks.

If that sounds interesting, why not sign up for Assembly’s free trial?

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered