Characteristics of a Leader | Escape Newport News

Characteristics of a Leader

Photo by bamagal on Unsplash

We’ve all heard about natural born leaders. While this phenomenon exists, most of us aren’t born knowing how to be someone other people are willing and ready to follow. The characteristics of a leader are something we have to develop. Luckily, we all have within us the capacity to be leaders.

In a highly effective team, the characteristics of a leader are present in every member. This doesn’t happen naturally, however. They must be taught and nurtured. One of the most exciting things we are able to do when working with our various business clients is to help develop these characteristics further through team building activities and experiential learning.

The ability to effectively collaborate with others, encourage trust and respect among the members of a team, all while leading them to a clear objective, is not an easy task. It requires skill. It requires creativity. It requires leadership (and leaders) at every level.

This is why an escape room is so great for leadership development. It provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the various characteristics of a leader.

Effective Communication

A team without a clear objective can create nothing and will accomplish little. Yet an effective, focused team requires more than just the effective communication of goals. Listening is as important as relaying information. An environment where the sharing of ideas is encouraged will encourage potential leaders within the group to surface, increasing the level of personal responsibility and investment within a team. If a group of people are truly invested in what they are creating, amazing things happen.

Learning effective leadership communication happens through experience, either simulated or actual. Mastery takes practice!

Empathy and Respect

Genuine care and support for each member of your team, for both their personal and professional growth, will allow each team member to grow into the leader you need them to be. When empathy, respect, and good communication are combined, effective collaboration begins to happen. Input is shared, achievements and contributions are recognized, toxic favoritism ceases to exist and mutual respect and trust begins to grow. The team and the leaders begin to have a better, almost intuitive understanding of each members strengths and how to best utilize them.

Confidence and Positivity

This isn’t a false, Pollyanna-type positivity. Nor is it arrogance disguised as confidence. This is believing in your team and showing your conviction that, collectively, you’ll move through whatever is facing you. To show this conviction, you as a leader must first trust yourself to take action and hold the vision, even under stress. A leader knows that mistakes are OK, because they will accept responsibility for them when they happen. Such an atmosphere allows trust, creativity and personal ownership to flourish. Confidence, accountability, and passionate creativity make great leaders and great teams. They work together to create a sustainable, positive environment.

Photo by Zachary Nelson

Every business needs people who will lead by example, accept responsibility, and positively influence and motivate those around them. These are the people who make a difference, and lead teams to success. With the right training and the proper application of skills, everyone can be a leader.

Come see us, and see what you’re capable of.


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Brennan Smith is a leadership development and team-building specialist. He is the founder of The Inspired Action Network consulting firm, he’s the author of The Art of Inspired Action as well as the Inspired Leadership column on the Huffington Post, and he’s the owner of ESCAPE Newport News escape room in Newport News, Virginia.

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