What Constitutes an Effective Leader?

August 25, 2014 by  

There are many attributes that one could list to describe an effective leader.
In my leadership workshops; that is often the first exercise I offer to attendees: list the traits you feel are necessary for one to be a good leader. There are actually no wrong answers here as it will depend to a large degree on personal experience. Nonetheless, are definitely certain ones that always appear in the lists developed.

Last year, Global Knowledge, an organization that provides excellent corporate and leadership training programs, conducted a huge research study on just that topic and what they discovered is this, there are certainly many skills necessary to be a successful leader, the list topper: Effective Communication.

If you are in a leadership position and cannot clearly and honestly articulate your vision, core values, and goals, how will you be able to know if your team aligns with your strategic plan for the organization?
If you are not a great listener, great questioner, accountable and responsible, how will you gain the trust, respect and rapport necessary to build, nurture and maintain strong relationships within and outside your company?
If you cannot demonstrate confidence, competence, forward looking approaches and decisiveness, why would people even want to follow you?

You know you are an inspirational leader if people will follow you anywhere, if only to see what you will do! Great leaders inspire others to shared aspirations. They are dealers in hope. They can persuade people to do what they don’t want to do, or do what they’re too lazy to do, and like it.

Leadership is about enabling individuals to work as a team, complement one another and find innovative solutions to organizational problems.
Great leaders open the doors of opportunity so that their people can reach their full potential.
Successful leaders support, encourage, coach, acknowledge and empower their people, then everyone wins!

Becoming a great leader is an ongoing process, yes some people may be inherently better at it than others, however, if one commits to learning more about those essential attributes and how to master them, there is no doubt that they will become better in that role.

Challenge yourself, examine your abilities, be open to learning new approaches and accept feedback from your team and colleagues….we can all learn from each other!


One Response to “What Constitutes an Effective Leader?”

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