Leadership and Productivity

Top 10 Skills Every Team Leader Must Have

by Sheyaf Hashim

If you are an employee, you need to do your job well, and that's pretty much it. However, if you are a team leader, a CEO or a manager, you need to juggle around many different roles, worry about your job and about everyone else's. You need to be the jack of all trades and have different skills to steer the ship in the right direction. We have listed the top ten qualities a team leader must possess. Do you have all of them?


  • Passion – Passion is a quality that separates good from great and great from legendary. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk were already successful, rich and famous. However, they still showed up every morning and worked for 14 hours like they were just beginning. You don’t do that if you are not incredibly passionate about your job.


  • Work ethic and organization – People will not consider you a great leader if you keep going home early. A great leader more often than not stays later than everybody, watches over everything and is there when his people need him. And it takes excellent organization, time management and willingness to put the hours in to do that, and great team leaders are willing to do it.


  • Competence/expert in his/her field – People will not respect you and follow you if you are not great at what you do. Also, once you become an expert, you have to work to stay there. Reading the news from the industry, conventions, networking, constant learning, listening to best podcasts are all things that a great team leader must do to stay at the top of his/her game and further career growth.


  • Great communication and people skills – You can’t be a great leader if you are not a great communicator, especially nowadays. Effective communication allows for presenting yourself and your ideas in the best way so people can follow you. It also enables you to be a great listener and get input from others. Having integrity and emotional intelligence is often cited as one of the most important traits of today's team leaders.

    Team leader skills: Communication


  • Confident and decisive – Another must for a great leader. Confidence attracts people towards you and puts you in a favorable position, allows you to take risks and make tough decisions. You just can’t do that if you have self-doubt.


  • Inspirational/motivational – Great leaders can motivate and inspire others. You have to have passion, work hard and be an expert, and then you need to carry it over to your team. Great storytelling, psychological tactics, positivity are all things you need to possess as a team leader who needs to motivate his team.

    Team Leader skills: inspiration


  • Believe in your team and delegate – Nobody can do everything themselves. If you are in charge of a group or a project you need to learn how to delegate. A lot of people have a Linkedin headline that says ''assistant'' or ''associate'', so let them assist. Pick a good team that is capable and then believe that they will get the job done.


  • Courage and the ability to change/innovate – It is not easy to make a complete overhaul and break everything in your business. However, as the world changes, companies change, and the old way of functioning is going to get outdated. And it’s happening faster than ever nowadays. It takes courage and wisdom to be a person who is going to say ‘’We are changing everything. The thing we used to do can’t work anymore, and we are starting everything from the beginning.’’


  • Teacher/developer – Great leaders build other leaders. This trait is most visible in team sports because the best players are making those around them better. Some players are equally skilled but they are selfish and don’t include others as much, and the result suffers. The same is true in business. As a true leader, it's necessary to be a great mentor and teacher to your team, for each person to reach their full potential.


  • Critic/unpopular – On the road to success there are going to be some hardships. People are going to be criticized, stressed and even fired. A great leader must accept that he/she is not going always to be popular, but has to do what is right for the team goals and success.



  • A sense of humor and the ability to relax – Nobody likes those who are serious all the time. Tell a joke, even at your own expense. Be able to laugh and not take yourself seriously. It makes a person much more relatable if he/she can do that.


Bayt conducted a survey in the MENA region to understand the dynamics between employees and managers and discovered that:


  • Over eight in 10 respondents (82.1%) said that their relationship with their managers affects their happiness at work.
  • 27.6% of respondents cited “lack of respect” as the most damaging to their relationship with managers.



team leader skills bayt infograph


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Written by Sheyaf Hashim

Managing Partner and Account Director at Ubrik Media

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