There is no one effective leadership style. In fact, 2 completely different leaders put in the same situation can both achieve amazing results. With all the different management styles and different types of leaders, is there “the best style”? Without putting a finger to the best style, let’s look at the traits that make an effective leader. After all, isn’t it a combination of traits that make up your leadership style?
In the study of different types of leaders, a good leader tends to exhibit similar traits. There are patterns that are common and recurring that an effective leader exhibits.
Even looking back at some of my mentors that I have been lucky to work with, I have seen most if not all of the same characteristics of an effective leader.
What are they?
Here’s How to Be an Effective Leader:
Having the right mindset is crucial in a leadership role. Are you determined to be an evolving leader? Are you determined to inspire teams to take the necessary actions to get results? Without a proper mindset, no matter how many leadership books you read, how many leadership workshops you attend, you might get temporarily motivated to use the tools you learned but you won’t see permanent results.
Leaders are determined to get results. They see and know where they need to go to achieve organizational success and are motivated by high performance standards. They are also accountable for results. You are responsible for your team’s performance. You determine what you accept and what you don’t.
One of the most important qualities of an effective leader is their ability to inspire action. Be great at painting a vision of the future and influencing positive actions from your teams in order to gain the desired results.
Have you ever had a mentor who was able to keep a team believing even when the deck was stacked against them? To be an effective leader, BE A SOURCE OF GO!! Great Leaders invigorate others especially when they need it most.
Practice what you preach and preach what you practice. Be honest and transparent with your team members even if it is not always easy.
A supportive leader is a guide throughout the performance and development journey. It means keeping the long-term goals in mind and not being flustered by short-term misses.
Confident but not Arrogant
There is a difference between being confident and being arrogant. It is important to show confidence in your decisions and in your abilities. Confidence is about having a can-do attitude. Arrogance is about “can-do-way-better-than-you-with-my-eyes-closed”.
“Confidence will get you places, but arrogance will make sure you are not there long”.
Great Communication skills
Being a great communicator is not just about getting your message across. It is also about ensuring that you understand the message that is being communicated to you. Being a great leader is about asking the right questions to engage the thinking and thought processes of your team. Leaders ask…then listen attentively for the answer.
Your ability to make quick decisions even during complicated situations will be an asset to the company you are representing and the team you manage. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as a result of a decision you made.
How approachable are you? Do people feel comfortable being transparent and telling you how it “really” is? When someone needs direction, are you someone they want to talk to in order to guide them?
Gain Respect without Title
A real leader does not need a title. A leader gains commitment and engagement from their team out of respect.
“People will work harder for you because they respect you than just because of your title.”
If you want to succeed, if you want to achieve consistent long-term results, put your people first. This means that their development and their engagement is top of mind during your planning process. You need to make sure that you set time aside on a regular basis to have constructive and productive conversations with each of your team members.
Develop Great Planning and Organizing Skills
Time is a limited resource. You cannot do-over an unproductive day. This means that you need to have great planning and organizational skills to ensure that you are investing your time in what will bring you your greatest results (hint….one of them is People).
One very important quality you need to work on if you are not already there is your ability to keep calm under pressure. When things don’t go your way, when things get serious, what type of leader are you? Do you practice seagull management, fly in, make a lot of noise, then fly out? Or are you a Lighthouse, navigating your team out of the storm? How you act under pressure will say a lot about you to your team.
What trait do you feel is important in being an effective leader?