As a leader, you are always on the path of learning and growing, or at least hopefully you are. Adding new skills, fine-tuning ones you know work, and getting rid of those that aren’t working. Leadership characteristics or skills are important parts of your foundation as a leader. Take a look at these top ten characteristics of highly effective leaders and see which ones you have or might want to add to your foundation.
Highly effective leaders share these characteristics:
- Lead by example. Effective leaders know that they can’t just talk the talk, they have to walk the talk. If you want your team members to be committed, positive, passionate, and involved, demonstrate those characteristics each day.
- Take responsibility. As the leader, final responsibility falls on your shoulders. Don’t blame the system, or person, take responsibility, see where the mistake happened, learn from it, and move on.
- Vision. To be an effective leader, you have to know where you are going. If you don’t know, your team sure won’t either. A big part of leading is crafting the vision that you and your team can get behind and deliver. Make it clear and make sure your team understands where you want them to go. Visions can be big, medium, or small.
- Road map. Now that you have a vision, work with the team to create the road map for how you are going to get there, who is doing what, and the timeframe it will happen in.
- Communication skills. The ability to share your vision and your plan is paramount to success. Without them, you can’t be an effective leader, much less a highly effective leader. Effectively communicating your vision, the plan to motivate your team to get behind you, and getting the work done. Communicate often with your team to provide them with relevant information they need to be successful.
- Ask lots of questions. Being curious and asking questions helps to clarify what you are hearing and empowers your team to come up with alternate solutions to issues. They will know what is going on much more than you as the leader, as it should be.
- Invest in others’ development. It’s important to help your team grow. If you don’t you will probably lose valuable team members, the wrong way. Talk with each individual and learn how/where they want to grow and their long-term ambitions. Then invest in them and help them along the way. And you as the leader is hopefully doing the same for yourself.
- Inspire confidence. Inspire your team to be successful. Believe in them that they will do their best and deliver. Let them know you have their back in being successful.
- Integrity. Team members have to believe and trust in you as their leader to do the work that is required for all to be successful. Without it, no one will trust that you have their back or want to fully commit to your vision and plan.
- Embrace change. Change is everywhere, happening all the time. The sooner you embrace change, the easier it will be to meet your team where they are and help solve problems, look at things differently, and create an exceptional team.
Which of these skills do you have and how well are you implementing them? By having these 10 characteristics as a part of your foundation, if not already, you will quickly become a highly effective leader that others will want to believe in and follow.
Please share which ones you have in your foundation already in the comments below.
If you would like help becoming the leader you have always wanted to be, please reach out!