Lately I have been thinking a lot about leadership. More specifically, why do some people thrive in a leadership role while others prefer to be self-employed and yet others choose a more collaborative environment. Has the concept of a leader changed now that we live in a world where fewer and fewer people grow up with the goal of climbing a corporate ladder? Also, why do some people always rise to the occasion and what traits do those people share?
As you can tell, I have been in a thinking mood.
Regardless of your situation, at some point in life we all need to demonstrate the traits of a leader. So what are the qualities that set effective leaders apart from others? After doing a little research and pondering this for a while, here’s what I have come up with as the characteristics of an effective leader. They apply to those who are leaders in any setting, whether in a work environment or at a PTA meeting:
- Effective leaders trust themselves. They let their instincts guide them. They are the people who confidently choose their own path. They define their own version of success.
- Effective leaders are dynamic. They are confident, humble and authentic. They have integrity and behave consistently. They take responsibility for their actions and have empathy towards others.
- Effective leaders think two steps ahead. They do not make rash decisions.
- Effective leaders keep on learning. They do not assume that they know it all. Rather, they insist on staying competitive in the marketplace. They continue to read, learn and absorb information. They constantly look for a take-away that will help them to improve.
- Effective leaders are resilient. They change with the times and doing what is necessary to stay ahead in the game. They handle adversity well and view change as a time for improvement.
- Effective leaders have a keen understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. They have a realistic view of what tasks make them feel invigorated as well as what drains them. They build support networks of people whose strengths can fill in for their weaknesses.
- Effective leaders manage their time and resources well. They set priorities and they know how to delegate. They work efficiently and effectively.
- Effective leaders find solutions. They can take emotion and ego out of the equation. They are strong problem-solvers who excel at finding a course of action.
- Effective leaders recognize other points of view. They know the appropriate times to speak up or back down. They can compromise.
- Effective leaders motivate and inspire others. They are empathetic and respectful. They genuinely want to see those around them succeed.
Do you agree with the list above? Do you see yourself in any of these leadership traits? If so, which ones resonate the most?