Being a leader is a huge responsibility--and it's certainly no walk in the park. After all, you have to wear several hats to keep the team in tip-top shape! You have to be an encouraging mentor to your team members, an authority figure who will steer the team forward (and keep up with your company's targets), and a confident decision-maker who can make smart judgments on the fly. We have to admit, it's no easy task, but being a good leader is nowhere near impossible, either! Are you a newbie team lead? Here are five qualities that you should prioritize so you can effectively take charge of your group:

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1. HONESTY

Being open and transparent to your colleagues and subordinates will establish trust and integrity. When your team sees that their boss never tips the scale of ethics, they will follow suit.

2. ARTICULACY

Getting the right point across is key to get the tasks done. Providing clear instructions and maintaining open communication lines will definitely increase your team's productivity. But being articulate doesn't mean you have to be stiff. Letting your teammates know that you know how to loosen up while still maintaining authority can also encourage harmony in the workplace.

3. PROPER DELEGATION

You can't do everything alone, and that's one of the reasons why your staff exists. Learn how to distribute tasks that perfectly match your members' skills, and let them know that you can trust them with bigger responsibilities. Having that said, you have to learn to let things go and to avoid micro-managing just about everyone. You can empower your team by giving them proper guidance and encouragement--you'll do just the exact opposite if you breathe down their necks every time you hand an assignment.

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4. COMMITMENT

Your staff knows if you're all in. When they see their boss giving her all in a certain project, they are inspired to do the same as well. You have lead by example. Trust us, your staff will definitely feel if they're the only ones who are doing all the work, and they'll definitely respect you more if they know that you're passionate about what you're doing.

5. CREATIVITY

Critical situations most likely call for out-of-the-box solutions. You shouldn't limit yourself to existing rules or ideas just because they're the norm. Instead, look for new ways to improve group performance--even if they may seem wild or uncustomary at first. Also, be open to fresh ideas by regularly asking the team for input.

Do you have more suggestions, FNites? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

(Photo from Jakob Montrasio via Flickr Creative Commons)

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