Effective leadership is a critical skill for individuals that are desiring to thrive in their professional and personal life. Notwithstanding whether it’s a community, company, or team being led, influential leaders play a crucial role in developing and maintaining momentum amongst their subordinates to achieve the projected goals.
However, being a leader is more than just answering to a title or occupying authority positions. It is more about having the ability to exhibit and portray some specific attributes that make you outstanding and set you apart from the rest of the room. In this detailed article, we’ll dig deep and explore five distinctive characteristics that define effective leaders. These characteristics are:
Honesty And Integrity
Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, once said, “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 an office.” This quote summarizes the importance of honesty and integrity for a leader. As a leader, you must set an example; your subordinate will likely use you as a yardstick for what the organization expects of them.
You wouldn’t want to lead a team of dishonest people; it is hazardous to the organization. It is more like a time bomb waiting to blow up. Thus, since they look up to you as a role model, they’ll emulate your honesty and integrity. Therefore, you must consistently exemplify uncompromised honesty at all times. In addition, a leader that possesses integrity can help breed trust in their team. If a leader’s character always tallies with their principles, it gives rise to an ethical organizational culture.
Courtney Lynch, the author of “Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success,” once said, “leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.” Thus, when you accept responsibility instead of pushing blame, you inspire your subordinates to become more accountable. Admitting responsibility demonstrates to subordinates that it’s acceptable to get it wrong occasionally. It’s unhealthy for your subordinates to perceive you as someone who likes to cover up your wrongdoing. When you cover up wrong, you don’t understand the growth philosophy. Identifying a problem is the beginning of resolving the problem.
Therefore, as a leader, you have to be responsible for your choices and the outcome of your decisions. Failure can be a learning tool if adequately managed. If you take a healthy approach toward handling failure, it can lead to tremendous success.
The ability to delegate is an important skill to possess as an effective leader. You should know how to properly apportion tasks and assignments between your subordinates to foster division of labor and greater productivity. If you are poor at delegating and take up the burden of handling most tasks yourself, it’s only a matter of time before you wear yourself out. Besides that, you deprive your subordinates of the opportunity to sharpen their skills, broaden their knowledge and develop a sense of autonomy.
You facilitate teamwork by delegating tasks among your members, exposing them to growth and development opportunities, and encouraging better decision-making. Constantly delegating duties to your subordinates gives them the confidence to perform excellently, even with little or no supervision. To effectively delegate, you should ask your subordinates to choose their choicest tasks or provide concise outlines of the complex projects before assigning them to them.
Effective Communication Skills
The core of effective leadership is clear communication skills. A typical leadership role requires constant communication with people from different roles and backgrounds. However, how a leader communicates is subject to the context. For instance, a leader may alter their word choice or voice tone depending on their intention. How you speak while inspiring and encouraging your subordinate differs from how you relay complex information to them.
The success of a vision or project depends heavily on how a leader communicates it. Communicating clearly enables you to convey strategies, ideas, and vision while building a shared sense of purpose and community among your team. Listening, in particular, is a critical communication sub-skill that aids you in incorporating and accepting input, feedback, and reviews from your subordinates for the betterment of the organization. See courses to help you improve your communication.
This is not just a nice-to-have leadership skill; it is fundamental to breeding engagement, confidence, and trust among your team. The ability to perceive and relate to the experience and thoughts of others is an attribute you have to possess if you desire to be an efficient leader. You should be able to see things from your subordinates’ points of view, understanding their positions and situations, with or without them necessarily spelling it out. Leaders who operate from a place of compassion, understanding, and empathy do much to boost performance across the board and establish deeper connections with their subordinates.
Some argue that great leaders are born. Others, however, say that education and training can shape and form individuals into great leaders. No matter which side of the argument you sit on, one thing holds true. Effective leaders all share five primary characteristics. Draw inspiration from these five characteristics to create effective leaders of tomorrow or to be one of the effective leaders of the future.
Great leaders see things that others do not necessarily see. They are visionaries. These leaders see something in their heads and are then able to take the necessary steps to bring it to fruition. Part of the steps that they have to take includes identifying staff, employees or others that bring expertise to the table to turn the dream into a reality.
2. Possess Aspirations
Great leaders are also looking to take their visions to the next level. Reaching a goal is never enough. Instead, these leaders aspire to reach beyond their goal and beyond that goal and beyond that goal—never really stopping, but always looking to make things better.
Great leaders also turn big problems into smaller problems. By breaking a problem down into a step-by-step process, leaders can then envision what needs to be done in order to resolve the problem. These leaders have an uncanny ability to see all of the small increments that make up the overall big picture so that they can offer steps that resolve the problem.
4. Empowers Others
A great leader isn’t boastful. Instead, they have the ability to motivate others to work a task or project or turn a problem into a solution. When all is said and done and when the employees step back, they tend to think that they have all worked hard to resolve the problem or to complete the task–rather than feeling as if they had someone dictating over them.
5. Grows Others
Leaders are already sitting at the top of their game. Now, it is time to grow other people into great leaders too. Great leaders are always looking for ways to instill and refine the skills of others. In other words, great leaders want to help others grow into great leaders.
True leadership is a standard that has been set by those that went before us. Some of the greatest leaders in history include General George Patton, President (and General) Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Quincy Adams and Vince Lombardi. While each of these leaders led in their own respects, they all have five primary characteristics in common. They all had a vision. They all had aspirations. They all found solutions to problems. They all empowered the people around them. They all worked to help others grow in their lives and careers.
Being an effective leader is not just about holding a title or position of authority; it is about possessing specific characteristics that inspire and motivate others to follow your lead. By embodying the traits discussed in this blog, you can build a strong team with a good sense of direction. A leader with these qualities is what any organization needs to achieve its goals. Such leaders are influential and inspire others to reach their full potential.
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