Top 5 traits that make a good leader

CIO Narottam Sharma talks about the qualities you need to cultivate if you want to lead.

“A great leader is someone who inspires across all spheres and office departments. The kind of person people love working for and who motivates them to be better individuals and employees. Over the years I’ve found that there are a few key qualities that differentiate good leaders from the rest.”

#1 You must know your people
“As a leader, you must know all the individuals in your team. Take an interest in their lives, observe and connect with them. Invest your time in building a relationship with them, from the senior most person to the junior most. Understand what their strengths, skills and weaknesses are so that you give them the most appropriate work profile, and place them in tasks that utilise their skills best. There’s no point in placing a square peg in a round hole. You will be serving the company and the team well by getting this right.”

#2 You must be able to convey a vision
“A great way to accomplish a mission is to have a team that believes in your vision and is working with you wholeheartedly towards that goal. To do this you need to communicate its importance, create interest in it, make them believe in it, and bind them together with your vision and dream. People work best when they want to do something, rather than when they’re told to do something.”

#3 You must be approachable, receptive
“It’s important to listen and be receptive to what your team members have to say. Be open to new thoughts and ideas, and even complaints. Accept the fact that you can’t know everything and that the person might actually have something interesting or noteworthy to share. Also inculcate an open door policy, where your team knows they can come to you with their problems and be honest about their mistakes. From day one, I have always told my team that ‘Mistakes are acceptable, ignorance is not’. I’m there to support them if they falter, but I will not tolerate wilful disregard of work.”

#4 You must be able to communicate well
“When you’re a top executive, being able to communicate well is a skill that’s necessary. There are three aspects to this. The first is to do with yourself, self-communication is the internal conversation you have all day, the one that affects your self-confidence and ability to succeed at tasks. So make sure your internal dialogue is always positive. The second are your one-on-one communication skills. These help you build connections and strengthen relationships. Here, it’s important to listen, respect and be open to new thoughts. The third is public speaking, which can terrify some, but is a necessary part of a leadership role. If you’re not a natural orator, then you should practice, practice, practice.”

#5 You must empower your team
“As a leader, it is important you pass on any praise or credit you receive to the rest of your team. Whatever was accomplished was a team effort and it’s important to recognise that. Appreciate the work that your team does, and tell them so often. Encourage them when they get it right so that they feel empowered and confident to take on bigger tasks and achieve more. You must also create a strong second tier within your team. These are the individuals that will take on and manage smaller tasks while you, as the leader, look at the broader picture. These people be your strongest support in the long run, so don’t let your ego or fear of being replaced come in the way.”


Narottam Sharma is Head IT & IS at Samsung R&D Institute India 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


  • Posted: March 12, 2016 06:58

    Ashish Sharma

    absolutely right sir! you are a kind of leader who knows the way,goes the way and shows the way.
  • Posted: March 12, 2016 07:58

    Niki Sharma

    Your thoughts are too good to be followed ..thank you :-)

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