4 traits of highly effective leaders

30 Apr, 2018

The first 100 days of a leader’s “time in office” will always set the tone for their leadership style. While there are plenty of unique ways to lead, there are some essential pillars of effective leadership skills that anyone can practice. Some small behaviours could make a substantial difference in your role as a leader and to your team.

Here are four simple traits that make an effective leader.

1. Be a servant leader
Effective leaders understand that their job is to serve first. Their focus is to identify and meet the needs of others rather than trying to collect power, wealth and praise for themselves. They serve and empower their teams to be efficient and effective within their different roles while nurturing a positive sense of wellbeing. They lead, teach and mentor their teams while building a sense of community.

You can develop this skill by listening and staying close to your team. Recognise what your team needs to operate at an advanced level in the context they work in. Look for little actions that communicate that you are all in this together and as a team, each member is accountable to each other.

2. Have passion
The root of the word passion means to “ache from within.” When it comes to leading yourself and others, passion is essential. Passionate leaders take initiative and stand for something they believe in. They also ignite a spirit and a trust in others to engage their mission. Their enthusiasm and level of commitment inspires their team and motivates them to do better work.

Passionate leaders believe they’re in control of their future and don’t shy away from challenges or waver on commitments. The result is a passionate and responsive team, satisfied customers and increased productivity.

3. Have a vision
Visionary leaders are the builders, pioneers, innovators, change agents and architects of a new dawn. They embody a sense of personal integrity and energy. They see the big picture, develop an action plan and convey that vision in an engaging manner that attracts committed followers.

Don’t rely on consultants or delay committing to a single guiding vision that will galvanise your teams and companies. As a leader you must own the vision. Be responsive to the real needs of your team by developing participative strategies to include them in designing their own futures.

4. Strategic insight
One of the most important skills an effective leader needs is strategic thinking. This means knowing where you and your team want to be and how to get there. Strategic leaders focus on the end goal and have the ability to change course if need be.

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your leadership style, choose one trait to focus on initially and watch as your impact shifts with time. Your team will achieve new levels of success as your leadership style evolves. As you cultivate little habits, you’ll soon grow these into solid leadership character traits benefitting yourself and the people around you.