Traits of Effective Leaders

Back to Leadership & Management

Are leaders born or made? Can you learn leadership skills? Specific actions and qualities seem to reflect the postures of successful leaders, regardless of the organization or cause they lead. 

Effective Leaders: 

  • Make others feel important. If goals and decisions are self-serving, staff members will quickly lose their enthusiasm. Emphasize the strengths and contributions of your employees. Treat your staff the way you enjoy being treated. 
     
  • Promote a vision. Employees need a clear idea of where you're leading them, and they need to understand why the goals you emphasize are valuable to them and to the organization. 
     
  • Admit mistakes. Effective leaders realize that attempting to hide mistakes is much more damaging and erodes credibility. But, when they admit to making a mistake, they also do something to correct it. 
     
  • Criticize others only in private. Public praise encourages others to excel, but public criticism only embarrasses and alienates everyone. 
     
  • Display high credibility by fostering pride in the organization and a spirit of cooperation, teamwork, and personal responsibility among staff. 
     
  • Recognize and reward individual achievement and celebrate your team's successes. 
     
  • Do what they say they will do. They keep their promises and follow through on their commitments. They have a clear idea of what others value and what they can do to promote success. 
     
  • Believe in the worth of others. They know how to communicate the shared values that form a common ground on which all can stand. They create a climate for learning characterized by trust and openness. 
     
  • Are capable of making a difference in the lives of others. They arouse optimistic feelings in their employees and liberate the leadership skills in everyone under their command.