What makes a great leader? The 10 key skills of effective leaders

Good Leader header

A great leader is not only respected, but also has the ability to motivate and influence. 

According to www.forbes.com, when Gallup surveyed employees in 80 countries to determine the qualities of an effective leader, they found that the highest ranked quality was honesty at 80%. The next highest ranked quality was inspiring confidence, which had a rating of 73%. But what are the qualities needed to be a good leader and how does that translate to the workplace?

They’re very organised. 

Another trait that separates people who are actually good leaders from those who aspire to be: They’re actually punctual and able to keep things together. Great leaders are usually the kinds of people that you can really depend on to get their tasks done; they have a system, so when they say they will achieve something by a certain time, it’s done – guaranteed! People like this are extremely reliable and unlikely to fall afoul of any deadlines whatsoever because they don’t leave things to chance or rely on others. They plan ahead and know exactly what needs doing – so all in all, it’s always worth following their lead.

They lead by example. 

Great leaders lead by example

The best managers know that an essential part of what makes a great leader is setting the right example. From putting in extra hours on a major project to treating others with respect and kindness, good leaders show that they’re ready and willing to do anything you’d ask them to do.

Leaders build relationships. 

The ability to form productive connections is a key quality of a great leader. As a good manager, you’re able to truly comprehend the value of mutually beneficial relationships and you’re always working hard on ways to find them.

Sometimes one has to say or do unpopular things to get things moving in the right direction. One way to approach this as a leader is to focus on people who aren’t even there, like potential clients, and think about all of the positive outcomes you’re going to bring them that are worth enduring for the short-term negativism you might receive from your staff or other people who may not be aware of what exactly you’re trying to work towards in their best interests.

Good leaders recognise there weakness and continue to develop

It’s a fact that those in leadership positions are generally continuous learners. They want to develop and hone new skills both personally and professionally because the more they understand about their role or others within their ranks, the better intentioned and equipped they are to provide direction for success. The most effective leaders consistently approach any assignment prepared, with confidence anchored on a strong foundation of education.

Leaders are confident in their choices. 

Many leaders love what they do, and aren’t shy about expressing that passion to those around them. Everyone has an outlet for their energy, but as a leader you have the ability to choose how to give it out. Consider what brings you the most joy when working on your business and develop that part of you—monotony doesn’t benefit anyone and over time you may discover management is even more rewarding than what initially brought you satisfaction as an employee.

Leaders communicate with honesty and clarity. 

Being a leader requires you to be able to delegate tasks and give feedback, especially when giving criticism or negative feedback. Using the right tone when communicating can make all the difference in your relationship status with the person you’re talking to, so make sure that what they hear is what they need.

Managers should get to know their employees, and managers appreciate employees who are willing to communicate. Managers may answer to higher-ups, but the best leaders know they’re there for their employees’ benefits. After all, a manager’s main job is to ensure that an employee has everything he or she needs in order to most effectively complete his/her assigned tasks.

Great Leader Communications

They’re positive and encouraging. 

A good leader will ensure or help create the conditions under which their team can work in perceptive peace and quiet. This means that a good leader should never let them down! By admitting your potential shortcomings and mistakes, this shows you mean what you say when you promise to let an employee know right away if they’ve made any errors, restoring their confidence in your abilities as a great leader!

Great leaders realise that they may not always be able to meet all of your expectations just like you can’t always meet theirs – so set up a healthy balance where everyone understands what’s expected of them! Realise that to build morale, it pays (literally) to talk about team members’ best qualities; it’s human nature to feel motivated when one feels he or she has value. Building up team pride by showing recognition for each others’ strengths can provide motivation for employees.

They are flexible. 

From direct reports and peers to clients and their own higher-ups, great leaders adapt easily when changes arise no matter how big or small. Those they lead often follow suit, creating a more productive culture where people aren’t afraid to voice their opinions to superiors.

Good leaders respect their team members.

Great leader respect

As a collaborative organisation, leaders show appreciation for the skills of those working alongside them in a positive, encouraging manner regardless of which department they’re in or what position they hold on the organisational totem pole. Through recognising and rewarding each other’s efforts with kind words and deeds, leaders foster teamwork and better communication within the ranks that translates into an even more positive workplace culture overall .

If you want to know more about leadership, we have a range of resources and maps covering a range of relevant books. Check out our range of leadership courses.

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