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10 Top Qualities Of An Effective Leader

01/08/2015 8:24 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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There is definitely some truth in the proverb "Great leaders are born, not made." The capability to lead is innate to an extent, but learning how to grow as an effective leader is a matter of grasping the fundamentals of leadership. Every organisation has a different vision, which comes with its own benchmarks for selection of the best leader(s). However, the qualities required by different organisations are not very different from each other on a broader level. An effective leader understands the different factors that a leadership position brings with it. Here's an all-inclusive picture of the characteristics that a leader must absorb and develop.

1. Integrity

This is key. Without your team's trust, you can't hope to achieve much.

2. A clear vision

The vision for your business must be clear in your mind. It is also just as important that you communicate this vision effectively and convincingly to everyone else.

3. The ability to develop the next string of leaders

Achieving the company's objectives requires people who will pick up work streams and run with them. Their success in turn depends on how effective they are as leaders. Recognise your lieutenants' strengths and weaknesses, and grow them as leaders.

4. Positivity

A good leader brings positivity to work. No matter what, you need to keep your team motivated towards continued success, and keep their energy levels up. Appreciation for their effort, advice when they are in need, or consolation when they fail, are key ingredients in this context.

5. Listening skills

Communication is a two-way street. An open mind leads to richer ideas and solutions. As a leader, you take your game to another level when you take some time out to listen to the ideas of your team. You are never too experienced to learn.

6. An understanding of compromise

Choosing a side is not as important as making an effort to understand both sides and finding common ground. As a leader, help your team to cross boundaries and not make more divisions.

7. Interpersonal skills

Get personal. When you converse, think dialog and not monologue. As you adopt a personal tone, the conversation with your team and peers will be more effective and engaging. This is the first step to develop trustworthy and transparent business relationships. People will always be more interested in how much you care than how much you know.

8. The guts to step out of your comfort zone

Leadership begins the moment you make a conscious decision to step out of your comfort zone. As a leader, you might be expected to take on certain responsibilities. However, as an effective leader, you also need to take on the responsibility to inspire others to challenge institutional thinking and conventional practices. In this manner, create opportunities for your team to learn and grow.

9. Self-assessment

As a leader who is not afraid to grow, you will take stock of not only your personal strengths but also your shortcomings. The position of leadership is not the best you can achieve. The more you assess yourself, the more you grow. Effective leaders bring such people onboard who complement rather than supplement their skillset. Paying attention to your areas of weakness will improve your leadership ability.

10 The grit to function despite odds

As a leader, you would be required to function in an orderly manner in situations of uncertainty, without losing your sense of purpose. Your team looks to you during times of uncertainty for reassurance. When you deal with the situation with confidence, it rubs off to the others as well.

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