7 Characteristics of Effective Leaders
If you want to build, grow and scale a successful brand, you must learn how to be an effective leader. As an effective leader, you need not worry about having to force people to get the work done, people will gladly do what you desire without any form of coercion. Sounds great, right? Every leader would love a situation whereby people around them always do the right thing at the right time. However, this is not the case, A lot of leaders are struggling to lead and would give everything to learn about what it takes to be an effective leader.
As an entrepreneur, your success rises and falls on leadership. If you do not master the art of leading your team members or employees effectively, you risk waking up one day to find out that your business is closed. In many organizations around the world, when the leader is ineffective, he or she is immediately removed and replaced.
What does that tell you?
It tells you that effective leadership is key. Leaders are usually chosen so that there’s a state of equilibrium in the company. As a business owner, you are a leader by default – you do not need to be chosen. All you need to qualify as a leader in this context is by being a business owner. Being a business owner, however, does not mean you are an effective leader.
What does it take to be an effective leader? What are some of the characteristics of effective leaders?[Great Read: How to Bounce Back from a Failed Business]
Close your eyes and think about one great leader you know and then, list three (3) things that make the leader an effective one. You’ll notice from your list that flexibility is one of those qualities that make a leader effective. People love working with people who are flexible. This is because life is not straightforward – it is filled with many twists, turns and curves. So, if you want to bring out the best in your team, you must learn how to be flexible. Flexibility is not the same as compromise. Flexibility means you are open to new ways of doing things. It also means you are ready to make or accommodate changes if need be.
Great examples of flexibility are allowing your employees to work at an alternate location, being open to new ways of completing tasks, allowing your team to work during their most productive hours, etc.
It’s possible to lead without being empathetic but in order to lead effectively, you need to learn empathy. Empathy does not mean to tolerate sloppiness or that you turn your business environment into a “free-for-all” place, but it means putting yourself in the shoes of your employees and customers.
Empathy also means the understanding that people have needs and they expect you to display some level of understanding. If you are empathetic, then you can create an environment of trust and compassion. Being empathetic also means
The one thing that will inspire your employees to help you bring your vision alive is your ability to communicate. Effective leaders are great communicators. If you want people to follow you and help you make your dreams become realities, then you must embrace the skill of communication.
Communication goes beyond passing information to others. It involves listening, having an open-door policy and encouraging your team members to be co-creators. When you give people the opportunity to lend their voice, they feel more appreciated and it validates who they are as a person.
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Passion is like wildfire – it catches on anything it comes in contact with and the fire keeps spreading. If you lack passion as a leader, it will weaken your ability to inspire your team hence it leads to ineffectiveness. Therefore, if you truly want to be an effective leader, you must be passionate about what you do.
Being grateful creates a pleasant atmosphere around you and that’s a great plus for you as a leader. If you find it difficult to appreciate those that work for you, it will probably be difficult for you to appreciate your customers.
In order to be an effective leader, people must trust you. Trust, however, is not something that can be given, it has to be earned. Have you earned your team’s trust? If you are yet to earn their trust, don’t fret. Just focus on doing what’s right whether someone is watching or not
Open to constructive criticism
A leader does not know it all, is not perfect and will make mistakes and what makes a leader effective is the ability to listen to constructive criticism. This is perhaps the hardest of all because most people don’t handle constructive criticism properly. As a leader, you should give room for your employees or direct reports to give you regular feedback, so you can learn ways in which you can become a better person.
[Great Read: 10 Things You Won’t Learn in a Business School]
Overall: Becoming an effective leader takes intentionality. You need to become committed to becoming a better person. Understand that as a leader, your duty is not to boss people around. Instead, your duty is to motivate and inspire others to get the job done.
Thank you for reading! What is one thing you are taking away from this article? Kindly share below
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