In my life I had the privilege to work for a few good people with great leadership skills and I also realized that in the midst of it all, I came across some managers with practically no skills, who happen to be in their positions for reasons unbeknownst to me (eg. right connections at the right time, etc). The problem for them was they either failed to realize or were in denial about their lack of skills. This resulted in the team(s) they led failing to produce the expected results since the leadership vision and the right goals were not there from the beginning. It never stops amazing me how some organizations operate with so many basic principles not in place.
But, let us talk about some of the main traits of effective leaders and what organizations should aspire to when they are looking to fill a position, whether promoting from within or looking outside the organization for talent.
1) Confidence – A leader should exude an air of confidence. They should come across as being experienced and knowing how to handle the position as well as the people entrusted to them.
2) Vision – They should be able to show their teams where they’re going, why they need to get there and how they’re going to achieve it through goal setting and the right strategy.
3) Effective Communication – They should be able to get their message through clearly and in a timely manner to both the people they manage as well as to their higher-ups.
4) Honesty – They should come across as genuine and honest in their communication and how they relate to everyone. People can understand easily if leaders mean what they say or are going through the motions as part of the job requirements.
5) Inspiration – Great leaders should be able to motivate employees through inspiration. A leader should get the team(s) interested toward the common goal. People always need that extra push to reach their potential especially when life and other tasks interfere.
6) Fearlessness – A leader should be fearless. Most times in life things do not go as planned. Life happens, unexpected scenarios occur and the right person should be able to handle pressure and stress well and not let distractions or interruptions get in their way.
7) Focus – A leader should always have the eye on the task at hand. No matter what happens, he or she must be able to be organized and handle anything head-on and leading by example.
8) Effective Delegation – A leader should be able to conceive the idea at a high level and delegate accordingly to the respective team members the ways to contribute towards its completion.
9) Creativity – A leader should be creative coming up with ideas and alternatives, thinking outside the box and having the innate intuition to act on something at the right time.
10) Fairness – Not coming across as a know-it-all individual. A leader should be able to give credit to the members of the team for a job well done.
11) Respect – By being respectful of employees, a leader will earn their respect.
12) Flexibility – A good leader will be open minded and adaptable to changes. In the business world as well in life everything is in constant flux. Everything changes. In addition be able to tweak existing strategy, recalibrating and adjusting accordingly is a necessary, without missing a beat.
13) Responsibility – Learn from mistakes and accept responsibility without passing the blame to others. The team realizes that the person in charge is human and this individual should have the humility to declare that something was wrong and is reevaluating by redesigning and building better alternative options and efficiencies.
14) Positiveness – An effective leader should be positive and enthusiastic. Always starting a meeting with something positive to say and not constantly warning and reprimanding people.
15) Empathy – Last but not least, a good leader should show that the person cares for the team genuinely. Setting time for employee suggestions and issues. In addition, when things are going according to plan, a good leader should acknowledge that and offer some measure of reward.
Posted: April 28, 2014
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