It has been said that in the presence of a good leader, imagination takes flight and ideas flourish as team members are challenged to give their best.

When two or more persons have to collaborate in a work environment, leadership dynamics come into play, whether formally or informally.

Leadership qualities are important at all levels within a company hierarchy — from employees in work teams to supervisors, middle and senior managers as well as chief executives.

In a big or small way, leadership at different levels helps to shape decisions and contributes to the success of a business.

There are always opportunities for employees to show their leadership in any given work situation and here are some of the characteristics:

An open mind

A good leader is secure in the knowledge of his worth and does not need to constantly seek assurances from peers or higher-ups.

Put simply, this person is self-assured and is confident about his job status.

As such, he recognises that teamwork is important and is ready to praise others for a job well done, while being comfortable at work to allow others to take centre stage. 

A good leader always keeps an open mind. Recognising that sharing of ideas adds value at work is the hallmark of a good leader.

Unilateral decision-making is not in the vocabulary of this person and all ideas and feedback are cherished.

Before giving his opinion to team members, a good leader makes it a point to get input from different and even conflicting sources.

A knack for team dynamics

Having a clear vision, a good leader steers people to mutually set goals and knows when to engage or disengage, while avoiding putting a personal stamp on every decision.

Such a person appreciates the dynamism of teamwork.

He has high emotional quotient to spur team members into giving their best and knows when to draw the line where differences between team members can affect work or the decision-making process.

Another sign is that a good leader does not fear failure, as positive lessons can be drawn from such an experience.

Each failure becomes a breeding ground for success in the future, providing him with the opportunity to move on and chart a new course for the team.

Knows when to talk

Another attribute of a good leader is the ability to know when to listen, when to ask questions, when to talk and when it is time to be assertive.

He intervenes to put matters at hand in the right focus or to improve the decision-making process, leading to greater overall teamwork.

A good leader is able to change mindsets, taking the team beyond personal boundaries and motivating members to rise above the mentality of “you” or “me”, and to see the work or project as “our” achievement.

Not everyone is born a leader, but if you consistently rise to the occasion to provide value-added input at work and demonstrate your leadership capabilities, your sterling qualities will be recognised by any good employer.