5 Traits of Effective Leadership
In order for an organization to excel, it must have effective leadership. Some leaders are born, but most people must learn how to be a good leader. Many of the top leaders share some of the same personality traits. Here are five of the most important traits of effective leadership.
The most effective leaders have a goal in mind for their team. They have a vision of the future and they let the team know where they are headed. Inspiring your team to reach that goal is a defining characteristic of effective leadership. Motivate your team by offering examples and guidance instead of telling them what to do. If you enjoy your tasks and are optimistic about your purpose, this will rub off on your employees. An inspiring and motivational leader is willing to take on challenges and lead the way for his or her team.
Everyone appreciates integrity, especially from leadership at work. If you are honest, fair, candid, and forthright with your team they are more likely to believe in you and the work being done in your organization. Your employees are a direct reflection of their management so treating them the way you want to be treated goes a long way towards employee satisfaction. If you focus on being honest and doing the right thing, your employees will too, which will benefit the entire company. Effective leadership is modeled through acts of integrity in the workplace, even if they are difficult to accomplish, or not the popular choice.
To be a good leader you must have confidence that you and your team can accomplish anything you set your minds to. If you are at all tentative, your employees will feel it and emulate it. However, if you exude confidence and believe that failure is not an option, your team will thrive off that positive energy. Show up to work each day with swagger and assertiveness, yet maintain kindness and generosity, and you will instill confidence in your team. Having a clear vision, showing empathy, and being a strong coach are all parts of how to lead a team.
When you’re discovering how to lead a team, a good first step is to open lines of communication. Effective leadership insists that every employee is routinely updated on the company’s goals, performance, successes, and even failures. In order to encourage two-way communication it’s important to provide appropriate venues for employees to share ideas for improvement and encourage them to do so. Make sure your expectations are clear to the team so they don’t fall short of the goals. Keep them informed about important discussions and meetings, and involve them in the conversation when possible. This prevents false rumors being spread throughout the organization. Also remember that good communication is not just a conversation. You must also ensure that your message is understood, and listen more than you talk.
Effective leadership is able to communicate to the team where they are headed, why they are going in that direction, and the steps it will take to get them there. When you share your vision for the project at hand, or the organization as a whole, you’ve learned how to be a good leader. Having a vision is important but if you’re not able to communicate it, the team may feel lost or wonder about the direction you are taking. Don’t get too far ahead of the team. A good leader is a dreamer, but also a strong communicator.
How to lead a team with these 5 traits
Master these five traits of effective leadership and you’ll be able to lead your team with the appropriate, vision, motivation, communication, confidence and integrity. If you’re interested in learning more about how to be a good leader, take our effective leadership course and discover your personality type and how to leverage it for great communication, conflict resolution, and building a leadership plan.