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Executives, projects leaders and other senior-level officials often spend a lot of time trying to become a better manager to their workers and learning how to leverage influence to get things done. They have this picture of an ideal leader in their head and try to do their best to become that perfect manager. 

But what do employees look for in a leader? That question is much more difficult to answer because it requires executives to put themselves in the shoes their employees. Oftentimes, what workers envision as an ideal leader may be different than what managers consider, which may then require some recalibration to ensure executives and managers are as effective as possible.

So, what are people looking for in leaders? Here are a few aspects to take into account:

1. Someone who empowers them
Leaders are often seen as being decisive individuals who make the right calls and command the troops to get things done. However, many employees actually prefer leaders who delegate tasks and responsibilities to workers. They want to feel like valued assets within the company and want a leader who has confidence in his or her workers to make the right choices.

"Employees don't always want to have to ask for permission," Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis explained. "They want to be empowered to make decisions and to learn from their failures.  Employees want leaders that will provide them with the mentoring and wisdom to effectively solve problems and become more independent and productive.

2. Someone who is realistic
The strong leader stereotype – the person who never makes a mistake and is always confident with his or her decisions – is actually something many workers dislike. Although having that confidence is important, people also want their managers to be realistic when possible. They should not assign tasks that cannot be done or embark on projects that cannot be completed within the specifications set at the onset.

Businesses are essentially comprised of different teams, and they need to work together to have the most success. Workers expect leaders to be aware of their limitations and the capabilities of the team so these managers can compensate for their own weaknesses by leveraging the strengths of their employees. Well-grounded, relatable leaders are viewed more positively than those with baseless confidence regardless of what they are doing.

3. Someone who is accountable
It takes a big person to admit when they have made a mistake, and even more so when that individual is in a position of power. Leaders are not flawless individuals, they have their own personal weaknesses and make mistakes. That is all okay, and workers understand that. However, they also expect leaders to be accountable.

As Llopis explained, people have little respect for managers who try to delegate too much responsibility to others, cut corners or avoid challenges and hope they go away.

Every business has a unique worker base, so it is pivotal that leaders find out what their employees expect from them.