Everyone has the ability to be a great leader, but not everyone has the drive. Developing leadership skill takes time, dedication and perseverance.

What decisions and paths should the real estate industry be prioritizing? And how can you, whether managing a team or an entire company, bring those best lessons to bear where you work? In February, in advance of building an industry blueprint at Inman Disconnect, we’ll plumb the topic of leadership with Q&As with top industry leaders, contributions from esteemed Inman columnists and more.

There are many avenues of leadership in real estate. Whether you’re leading a team or a community committee, great leaders must develop skills that strengthen their ability to lead. You do not need to be a “natural born leader” to be an effective leader.

A “natural born leader” is often used to describe someone who seems to have a natural ability to lead and inspire others. However, it is essential to note that leadership is not only a trait that a person is born with but also a set of skills and experiences that someone can develop over time.

Although some people may have a predisposition to certain traits or characteristics commonly associated with leadership, such as confidence or decisiveness, these traits can be developed through courses, practice and experience.

Here are 10 qualities every effective leader has in common.

1. Development of communication skills

Communicating effectively with others is a vital trait of a leader. You can strengthen your communication skills by practicing active listening and responding clearly with confident and straightforward language. In other words, don’t interrupt or use technical jargon when responding. You may need to adapt your communication style to suit the audience and context, so it is crucial to know your audience.

2. Work to build your confidence

Have you heard the term fake it until you make it? Sometimes, leadership is a little bit of that. Even when you’re not 100 percent sure, your ability to lead depends on your confidence. If asked a question and you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to admit you are unsure. Finding the answer and following through on delivering that answer lends to building confidence and credibility.

The same goes for being asked to lead in an area you are not 100% confident about. Confidence is built through experience. Putting yourself in uncomfortable situations assists in growth and confidence.

3. Learn to make decisions quickly

Leaders are often required to make decisions quickly and effectively, so practice making decisions in different situations. You can do this through real-time trial and error, reading up on or taking courses on decision-making, and seeking guidance from a mentor or coach.

Not every decision will be a great decision, but we learn and grow when we fail, probably more than we do when we succeed. So, learning to make an indecisive decision is more important than making the perfect decision.

4. Embrace learning and development

Leaders are always looking to improve themselves and their teams, so be open to learning new things and taking on new challenges. In addition, consider requesting feedback from your team on what they would like to see more and less of to create a stronger and more successful team.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. This can be one of the best ways to learn, develop and succeed. It can also help set you apart from your competition.

5. Build your network

Leaders often have a vast network of contacts to tap into for support and advice. Your network should include peers, leaders, customers, coaches and mentors. The more extensive your network, the more effective you can be.

No great leaders have ever led alone. They have support systems and resources that lift them up along the way.

6. Lead by example

Your actions speak louder than your words. Show others how to behave by being a good example yourself. Lead with honesty, accountability, respect, reliability, positivity and empathy.

7. Be consistent

Be consistent in your behavior and values, and maintain a balance. Your team needs to know the who, what, when, where, and how of what you expect and what they can expect from you. To do this, provide clear and consistent communication to team members about goals, expectations, and progress.

In addition, keep your emotions in check. Influential leaders must be level-headed and professional even in challenging situations.

8. Keep an open mind

Be open to new ideas and perspectives, and be willing to learn and grow. Please don’t shut down an idea without discussing it. Instead, ask questions to understand the perspective better, and discuss the pros and cons openly and encouragingly.

With an open mind, you will enable yourself to think outside the box and encourage a “team” atmosphere.

9. Empower your team

Leaders who celebrate and encourage the success of others are the best leaders. Teach your team everything you know, and encourage them to try new things. Celebrate their successes, and use disappointing outcomes as teaching moments.

Great leaders allow their team to believe in themselves far beyond their perceived abilities.

10. Understand your people

A leader who understands the strengths and weaknesses of their team members is better able to lead them effectively. You can empower and motivate your team to achieve goals and become better and stronger by providing them with the resources they need to learn and grow.

Everyone has the ability to be a great leader, but not everyone has the drive needed to be one. Developing the skills of leadership takes time, dedication and perseverance. But, if you have a passion for leading, nothing is more rewarding than seeing your team succeed.

Missy Yost is a Realtor with eXp Realty in South Carolina. Connect with her on social media.

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