15 TRAITS OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADER
What really are the Traits of an Effective Leader? Well, I cannot really give a complete list of what are the traits of an effective leader. I suppose there are more than what I can think of. For me, Effective Leadership is always a combination of many things. But based on my personal experience in my consultancy work, I can enumerate at least 15 Traits of An Effective Leader.
Where there is no vision, the people perish…. Proverbs 29:18
A good and effective leader is visionary. He always has a clear goal in mind toward which to work. He knows where he is heading and can drive people to share the same vision they have for their organizations and their lives.
An effective leader is intensely passionate in whatever he is focused on. His passion gives him so much energy to pursue his vision despite the obstacles he encounters. An Effective leader is determined in attaining their goals.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
Despite his passion for accomplishing his vision, a good and effective leader has compassion for his supporters or employees. He has a great coaching and development skills trying to bring out the best in his people; he consistently takes care for the individuals that support him. He is never selfish, he is mindful of his own or organizational wants and needs, he always sees where his people are coming.
Not all good visions elicit support from people. Support are easily enjoyed by leaders who are charismatic. A Charismatic leader tends to draw people in with his personality. It could be in the way he talks, the way he carries himself and the way he deals with people. He is excellent at building relationships and demanding performance from his peers.
- Great Communicator
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
A good and effective leader can communicate his thoughts very well. He is not necessarily a great orator, but he is one of those who can truly express and can persuade people. Good communication skills involve a big deal of listening skills. By Listening, it is easy for a leader to understand his people and can ultimately win them.
Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness. Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit. (Exodus 23:1,2)
Fairness means dealing with others consistently, and justly. A good and effective leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.
It seems that being passive or passive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9
Integrity is the integration of actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.
Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more trusted by their followers.
Courage does not mean offense. But courage is the ability to push through with one’s goals, saying, what is the truth in the most acceptable manner, and pursuing what is right despite the opposition of many.
Leaders that are courageous are bold. Winston Churchill states that courage is the virtue on which all others virtue rest on.
Most good leaders are very controlled in the pursuit of their goals. Where most individuals would be simply distracted or dejected, a good leader disciplines his mind to keep focused and steady regardless of the situation.
Beautiful dreams and vision simply fade away in the absence of dedication. Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, a good and effective leader can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.
The bible reminded us to be humble. In Psalms 18:27 it is said,”You save the humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down”.
Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god.
Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.
Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, “What if… ?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is a dumb question… ”
Leading can be tough at times.A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.
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