5 Characteristics of Effective Leadership

While some folks are born with a natural aptitude toward leadership, honing those innate qualities will elevate a good leader to a great leader.

As LeaderStat Founder, Eleanor Alvarez, states —“A great leader inspires everyone in the room to work smarter and harder, even after she’s left the room.”

Whether the leadership role relates to a family, community, or workplace setting, it’s no small task to be in charge, to manage, to facilitate, or in some fashion to “run” things. Good leadership takes thought and effort. Even those who are blessed from birth with these abilities can learn to be better leaders.

Anyone wearing the leadership mantle would do well to focus on improving these 5 characteristics crucial to effective leadership:

1. Honesty and Integrity

There’s much truth in Dwight. D. Eisenhower’s admonition, “The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

Leaders must set an example with a consistent commitment to uncompromised honesty. That is, of course, if said leader expects integrity from those in his/her charge. Honesty begets honesty.

2. Communication skills

Imagine a leader with the most stellar, focused vision coupled with the practical details to make the plan a reality. But because this leader fails to communicate the vision/plan with his/her charges, the vision sputters, limps along, falters, and then dies. Communication is the vessel that makes possible the emotional connection that is so crucial to effective leadership. Without the ability to communicate clearly, one cannot be a good leader—let alone a great leader.

3. A willingness to delegate and empower

Many in leadership roles struggle with the difference between doing and leading. Whether the challenge presents due to a fear “it won’t be done correctly” or merely a love of being in the mix, it’s of uber importance that leaders choose to hand off tasks.

“It is important for a leader to focus on key responsibilities while leaving the rest to others,” insists Sarmad Hasan. “Delegate tasks to your subordinates and see how they perform. Provide them with all the resources and support they need to achieve the objective and give them a chance to bear the responsibility.” 

Empowering employees promotes their growth as well as nurtures the relationship between management and employees.

4. Commitment and Passion

Nothing drains enthusiasm and passion quicker than a leader’s lackadaisical attitude or demeanor. I mean, why would team members give the project/task/responsibility their all when the lead guy/gal exudes a ho-hum approach? If the leader doesn’t believe in the mission 100%, getting the team fully on board will be nearly an impossible task.

5. Confidence

Believing in yourself and your ability to lead and make decisions are crucial to effective leadership. Not to be confused with arrogance, confidence exudes a positive influence that prods, nudges, and yes, when necessary pushes. Healthy confidence expects their team to follow directives, meet their deadlines, and give their best effort.

Consider the wisdom of Steve Jobs - “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.”  

If strengthening your leadership skills is on your to-do list, check out additional tips with Adam Enfroy’s article on 11 skills to make you a great leader.

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