How you develop leadership traits requires you to actually take on some leadership training. This is not something that is passive and can be done sitting in a library reading a book.
Your leadership traits will develop and improve as you use them. However, they will not do if you do not know your own current limitations. It is essential to be firm but fair in the moment and then reflect afterwards. Take time to realize what felt wrong or what felt right.
The people you lead will tell you personally whether or not you were a good leader to them. If you felt that they didn’t like or respect you then you were probably right. So go and ask them how you did. A little humility so that you can get their feedback and it will pay dividends for the rest of your life.
Reflect on what you did right and what you did wrong. What you did wrong will serve you as a guide on what not to do, and what you did right will steer you in the right direction.
Develop leadership traits so that others will follow. It becomes easy when you become a person big enough not to worry if they tell you that you were really bad. Whether you look good or bad at the start doesn’t really matter as long as you reflect on the development of your skills.
The very best leaders are the ones that people will follow even without them knowing if this leader has no interest in power. Look at the greatest leaders for guidance; if you wish to develop leadership traits which will turn you into a truly great leader someday, then you must learn to look at yourself. And ask, do I enjoy power?
If you sought power and it gave you an ego boost, then you are heading down the wrong path. To become great, you just have to lead because you are the best person to lead, not because you are power hungry. This is all about developing the right mindset for great leadership.
Recognize when you become a little insane in the pursuit of power. There’s no problem when you do, all you must do is recognize it so that you can observe your weakness. Now, a lot of business books may disagree with this, however, this is how to become a great leader, not just a leader.
The real leader has no need to lead. He is content and very happy to just point the way. Developing this trait alone will turn you into a great leader. You do not need to be the one who has all the skills. You just need to be the one who can listen to everyone. Listening to them, and when you have heard enough, provide solid direction when you have made up your mind.
Once you have made your decision, go with it. If your decision was wrong, then change it. But only change your direction once after heading out, otherwise people will lose respect in your leadership. If you are right it’s good and if you are wrong it’s good also… As long as you reflect on it and ask those you lead if they thought the task had gone right or wrong.
Their opinions will not always be right, in fact, they will often be misleading. However, to develop leadership traits, you must learn to navigate through unchartered waters.