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Good leadership comes from understanding what makes people tick, how individuals react in certain circumstances, and then having the confidence in yourself to make a difference.

Here are five tips to help you fine-tune your leadership skills, whether you have recently been put in charge of a team, or have set your sights on promotion to managerial level.

1 - Be accountable

You only have to watch five minutes of The Apprentice to see candidates passing the buck like a hot potato. For some people it really is, and they are just not cut out to be leaders. Good leadership means demonstrating accountability when things go wrong, not blaming your team – accept full responsibility and use it as a learning experience.

2 - Be engaging

Charisma is an attractive trait that cuts through hostility, mends broken relationships and draws people in. Knowing how to engage colleagues so they perform better and are more willing to be team players is a valuable skill. Although some people are born with this ability, how to use charm and charisma to your advantage in business is something that can be learned.

We all know someone who makes us feel we’re the most important person in the room – it’s all about listening attentively, taking an interest in people, and giving them a voice. Feeling valued within a team is a key motivational driver for success, both for the individuals concerned and the organisation as a whole.

3 - Be inspirational

Even if you’re not a leader yet, inspiring others through example will soon get you noticed. Effective leaders are inspirational, motivating their team with an innate feeling of excitement and drive. Think Richard Branson, who although seeming fairly laid-back, inspires his team using positive thinking and an understanding of human nature.

4 - Be creative

In terms of solving problems and weaving a path through difficult circumstances, creativity plays a big part. You’ve heard the saying ‘think outside the box’ – you need the ability to see the situation from a different perspective if things aren’t working out as planned, and have the confidence to adopt a new approach that may not have been tried before.

5 - Be purposeful

Focus and determination helps to achieve business goals. As a leader you’ll need to be able to clearly articulate your purpose to a team, the boss and anyone else who will listen. Without a sense of purpose, goals become diluted – ‘know your why’ is a useful phrase to refer back to as a leader.

Leading a team is never going to be easy, but by developing certain characteristics you’ll be able to fulfill your potential as well as help others achieve their best.