5 Traits of an Effective Leader

People are not born great leaders; leadership skills can be learned and honed over time. Listed here are some common characteristics shared by the most admired leaders. 

1. Decisiveness

Being a leader means making difficult decisions. Having the courage to make a decision that is unpopular but essential is what sets great leaders apart. The confidence it takes to be decisive will garner the respect, admiration, and loyalty of employees. There is nothing more unsettling than a leader who wavers during times of crisis. Even in the face of turmoil, good leaders present a calm, steady, and determined front.

2. Communication skills

Great leaders know how to communicate their vision and goals to inspire others. They are approachable – engaging people at all levels of the organization. And being a good listener is an essential quality for strong leadership. Showing that you care about employees’ input will encourage them to speak freely and honestly, contributing their very best to your organization. An employee must feel safe in divulging their thoughts and ideas, with no fear of retribution. 

Additionally, effective communicators can clearly articulate both a strategic plan and a specific task. They can get their message across successfully to both a crowd and an individual. Communicating with your workforce regularly, clearly, and confidently will inspire unity.

3. Honesty

Set the tone at work by letting everyone know that honesty is an expectation. Honesty creates a climate of trust in your organization. Being honest is the only way to make deep, meaningful connections with your staff. And accountability is a form of honesty. Leaders who are transparent, taking ownership of their own mistakes, can expect the same from others. 

4. Having a vision 

Great leaders can plan for the future, confidently devising clear goals and inspiring others to get on board. They are organized and they plan ahead; they are not easily foiled by distractions.  And they are adept at adjusting strategies to accommodate new developments by being flexible and trying new things. 

5. Promoting teamwork

Developing a solid team requires valuing the diversity of your employees and creating a safe place for them to build real connections. Creating opportunities for teamwork will promote the exchange of ideas and sharing of expertise. Building a strong team will allow you to capitalize on the unique contributions of individuals, while reaping the benefits of collaboration. 

Leadership is about creating a space where employees are inspired to thrive. The most effective leaders govern by example – encouraging the exchange of ideas and championing teamwork. They have a clear vision for the future, yet fully anticipate adjusting their course. The best leaders are not feared, they are respected – behaving in a manner that garners the trust and confidence of their staff. Although each person exhibits a unique leadership style, skills like these can be learned and implemented by everyone. 

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