Manager Mint – 5 Traits of an Effective Leader

When studying the traits of Effective Leaders is important to note there is not one trait that is more necessary than the other in order for a person to become an effective leader.  These are 5 that I deemed important, that anyone should strive to understand further to gain the ability to lead their team more successfully. These are not traits you need to be born with but can be developed through experience in the workplace.

 

1.      Drive.  Drive is what creates momentum for a company. Drive is the characteristics that reflect high levels of effort. If a leader is motivated by drive then they usually have a high need to achieve their goals, constantly striving for improvement. Drive is caused by ambition, energy, the ability to stay focused and persistence when faced with an obstacle and initiative.  Although achievement needs to top level executives has proven to drive the growth rate of organizations, leaders must be wary of the consequences that can happen from too much focus on personal success that they do not delegate any or enough authority or responsibility.

2.     Leadership Motivation. Leaders have the natural want to lead people. It is something that is programmed internally.  Leaders tend to be more extraverted individuals and are related to leadership emergence and leadership effectiveness.  With leadership motivation, it is important to leaders to have a priority need for power and a position that is in leadership rather than a follower.  This need for power helps to influence others, maintain interests and satisfaction with the process of leadership. In order to inspire their followers to be more trustful, respectful and more committed to their vision, leaders must exercise their power in a moral and ethical manner.

3.     Integrity. Great leaders uphold a high standard of integrity, which is the correspondence between their actions and their words.  Being honest, credible and maintaining a level of transparency in the work place helps to build trust throughout the team. It is important to do what you say and say what you do, even when no one is looking. This builds your character as a leader.

4.     Self-Confidence. Leaders would not be leaders if they were lacking self-confidence. There are many reasons why self-confidence is an important trait of an effective leader. Being a leader is, first of all, challenging and there will be set backs from time to time.  Through self-confidence, leaders find the inner strength and creativity to overcome obstacles and make correct decisions in critical moments without knowing the outcome, and inspire confidence in others through example. Self confidence is a key component of an effective leader but one must be cautious of being to overly self confidence to the point they develop and ego that is cocky and arrogant. If you display those traits your team or organization is likely to abandon you.

5.     Knowledge of the Business. Becoming Effective Leaders means that you must always be learning.  If you want to lead your team to the best of your abilities you must have a high working level of knowledge about the industry you are in, the companies in that industry or that are your competition and technical aspects of your organization. It is very important to be a sort of central hub of information for you team members. By knowing processes and procedures of your company you are able to then teach this to your team. Making them more efficient and effective.  Getting a degree is useful in a career but more times than not, experience and expertise in a field is much more valuable to an organization.  Now by no means am I suggesting that one should not go to school and get a degree. I highly suggest it because there is so much valuable information to learn. Don’t go to get your degree if you want to simply get a piece of paper that said you graduated. That is a waste of time and useless.

Lastly, Effective Leaders are adaptable in their abilities to understand the needs and goals of other individuals rather than themselves and can adjust the personal leadership approach depending on the situation.  Not everyone can be lead or managed the same. Not everyone responds to the same level of coaching or constructive criticism as your or someone else. This is why it is important to get to know the people that work for you so you can effectively lead them to the results that the organization and yourself seek and those that the employee seeks.