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Blog: 10 Leadership Traits to Look for When Building Your Bench

By Bridget McCrea

There are specific leadership traits that can either make or break leaders in any company – distributorships included. Here are 10 of them to keep an eye out for when hiring from the outside or promoting from within:

  1. Good communication skills. They are a “must have” for anyone who is going to lead your team to success.
  2. A good ear for listening. Good communication also requires solid listening skills and a knack for letting workers know that their voices and concerns are being heard.
  3. Ability to manage people. Leaders must be able to provide direction and support without micromanaging or trying to do it all themselves. General management skills (preferably learned from a prior position) should be mandatory.
  4. Empathy for others. If they can’t put others before themselves, the individuals you are cultivating won’t be able to effectively lead your team to greatness.
  5. Ability to establish a “trust factor” with employees. If your warehouse, distribution, and administrative employees can’t trust their leaders, who can they trust?
  6. Accountability. Good leaders must be able to hold themselves and/or their employees accountable for both successes and failures in the work environment.
  7. Follow through on commitments. Nothing destroys company morale faster than a leader who doesn’t follow through on his or her commitments.
  8. Solid conflict management skills. Often called upon to eradicate conflicts between employees and even departments, leaders have to be able to “hear both sides” and come up with ways to distill the conflicts before they escalate.
  9. Integrity and values. Leaders must know when and how to “do the right thing” on their own accords, and not because they’re expecting something in return for these actions.
  10. A feel for the “big picture.” Even if they are mired in the day-to-day activities required to run a successful distributorship, the best leaders can put aside those “fires” from time to time and focus on the firm’s overall success and future path.

Editor’s note: Read the first part of this blog, Distributor Perspective: Hiring and Replacing Talent.

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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