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Leadership is one of those nebulous terms -- you hear it all the time but it has various definitions. The traits that make up a good leader can vary depending on the organization, team, manager and work environment.
Leadership can also vary in style -- are you someone who dictates the group and doesn't listen to anyone else's opinion? Or do you lead with a more bureaucratic or democratic style?
"Every leader has a particular style of leadership that is innate. However, the behaviors, attitudes or methods of delivery that are effective for one staff member may in fact be counterproductive for another," says Michael Burke, account supervisor, MSR Communications, a public relations firm.
"Great leaders are aware of their own style and make the effort to learn how their style actually comes across to their team. They learn to flex their leadership style to individual team members so that they communicate and behave in ways that motivate and inspire."
Here is what five leadership professionals consider to be traits that make up a good leader:
Rachael Fisher-Layne, vice president of media relations, JCPR, a public relations agency
1. Honesty. Always do the honest thing. It makes employees feel like they know where they stand with you at all times.
2. Focus. Know where you're going and have a strong stated mission to lead people on. If you're not sure, how can your people be sure? You have to have strong focus and stay the course.
3. Passion. Whatever it is, you must have passion for what you're doing. Live, breathe, eat and sleep your mission.
4. Respect. Not playing favorites with people and treating all people -- no matter what station in life, what class or what rank in the org chart -- the same.
5. Excellent persuasion abilities. People have to believe in you and your credibility. Image is everything and the belief...