All of us want to be better leaders. Whether you already run a large and successful company, or you're at the bottom rung of the employment ladder, being a better leader will improve your prospects of success in life. Someone who already leads will achieve greater things if their leadership skills improve. Someone yearning for a management position will need to demonstrate that they have the required skill set to convince their employer to trust them with more senior duties.

Leadership doesn't just have to be about work. Every home needs a leader; someone who ultimately makes practical and financial decisions that affect the well-being of everybody under their roof. Even if your house is a democracy, it needs a leader to put forth ideas and advocate for them. Even a group of friends requires a leader. Without one, plans never get drawn up, events never happen, and social hierarchies don't form.

Almost everybody is capable of leadership if they put their mind to it. There’s some debate over whether some people are simply born to lead, along with suggestions that leadership can be an inherited trait. We won't get drawn into that. Whether or not you were both with an advantage in leadership terms, you can still shape yourself into a leader by focusing on three traits which every great leader has.

Communication

A leader who can’t communicate can’t lead. All too often, people confuse communication with being the loudest voice in the room. That isn’t communication, that’s speaking. Communication is a two-way street, which requires listening as much as it does talking. Not only that, it requires active listening. Anybody can wait for a gap in the conversation and then speak when it’s their turn; active listening means taking into account what’s being said to you, and acknowledging it in your response.

Introverted people sometimes feel like they can never develop excellent communication skills, because it’s not in their nature to speak unless they’re being spoken to. This isn’t the case. Various studies have shown that introverts can be great leaders. They think more about what they’re going to say before they say it, and so their communications are often more considered than those of an extrovert. Introverts particularly excel at written communication, where they have time to shape and frame every single sentence, and make sure it’s exactly as they want it before the communication is sent.

Without strong communication skills, a leader cannot convey a plan, or persuade people to buy into it. They can't alleviate the concerns of the people they lead, nor provide inspiration or reassurance. Often, leadership is simply a case of sounding confident when speaking, and giving the impression that you know what you're talking about. There's more to it than just that, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

Persistence

A great leader knows the difference between a good idea that's going badly, and a bad idea. Not every worthwhile idea is immediately successful. History is littered with people who repeatedly failed before they achieved success. JK Rowling still has framed copies of all her rejection letters on the wall of her home. Had she simply accepted that 'Harry Potter' was a bad idea, an entire generation of children (and some adults) would have been deprived of one of the greatest entertainment franchises of the past two decades.

As with communication, confidence is key with persistence. If you truly believe that something will work, and you have reasons why which you can explain to people clearly, you should persist with it instead of giving up. If, on the other hand, you can’t make a clear case to yourself as to why an idea is worth persisting with, it should be abandoned immediately. Decisiveness and persistence go together hand in hand.

If the method you're using will inevitably result in success in the end, it should always be pursued even if there are short-term consequences and losses. Consider the way that someone playing online slots sticks with a game. Unless that player is very fortunate, they won't make a profit from the very first dollar they put in the mobile slots game. They might not even make anything from the first twenty or thirty dollars they spend. Eventually, though, mobile slots bow to the law of averages and payout their winnings. Even though nothing has changed in terms of what the player was doing, they ultimately get their reward. Obviously, with mobile slots, you need a little luck as well as persistence, but you also need luck in business and leadership!

Decisiveness

We said that decisiveness and persistence work as a partnership, but they're entirely unique skills. There's no value in being persistent if you can't decide on a course of action. Whether its life or business, events can sometimes happen quickly, and a response is needed immediately. While actions should always be considered carefully, once the best course of action has been identified, it should be implemented quickly. Second-guessing yourself leads to inaction and delay, and inaction and delay are always costly.

A person’s decisiveness plays a key role in how other people view them as a leader. Someone who takes ten minutes to decide what they’re going to have for their evening meal probably isn’t a great candidate to be a leader. When a crisis arrives, most people want somebody else to step up and make a decision about what to do. If you can be that person, you’ll find that leadership comes to you naturally.

It’s worth mentioning that sometimes the only choices in front of us are bad ones, but we still have to choose. Nobody likes making decisions that will hurt other people. Sometimes as a leader, you have to fire people. Sometimes in a relationship, you have to be the one to let go if things aren’t working out. In both scenarios, it’s the kinder thing to do to get it done rather than letting the situation drag on. Hoping for change without evidence of a change occurring is a poor business practice, and a poor habit to carry through life.

Many other leadership qualities might be considered desirable, but most of them are job or circumstance specific. If you can communicate clearly, persist when things are difficult, and make decisions when they need to be made, you'll have solid foundations to become a leader in every aspect of your life.

Author's Bio: 

John Smith is a Digital Marketing Consultant with more than 8 years of experience in SEO, SEM, SMO, blogging, etc having wide knowledge base into content marketing.