Every leader wants to be effective in their leadership. Not every leader is effective. One of the reasons behind that is not knowing what effective leadership looks like.
What is Effective Leadership?
What is effective leadership? Effective leadership is the ability of an individual or group to guide, inspire, and influence others toward the achievement of a common goal. They also nurture the professional and personal growth of the people they lead.
Effective leadership involves excellent communication skills, thinking strategically, being able to adapt, and making informed decisions.
All of those things are things you can work on personally. That’s the thing to keep in mind while you read this article and become an effective leader. You can do it!
Key Attributes Of Effective Leaders
Effective leaders have key attributes. You won’t have all of these attributes, but you can work on the ones you do and try to increase the effectiveness of the attributes that you may not be so skilled at. I’m not going to list all of the key attributes of effective leaders, but I want you to get an idea of what it looks like.
Effective leaders have a vision:
To be effective, you must have a clear vision of what your organization will look like today, tomorrow, and the future. You cast a compelling vision that others are able to latch onto. You also set goals and expectations. These motivate others to work toward the vision you’ve cast.
Effective leaders are self-aware:
Ineffective leaders are the least self-aware people around. They bumble around, hurting others in the process. Effective leaders, on the other hand, are self-aware. They know where they’re strong and where they’re weak. They understand where they have to delegate and where they need to take charge. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out where you need to step back, give the reigns over, and guide others.
Effective leaders make decisions:
If you’ve ever been in an organization where the leader cannot make a decision, you know the trouble that arises from the lack of decision-making. It’s hemming and hawing. It’s spinning tires with no momentum. Effective leaders don’t just hem and haw; they make decisions. They know they can change course if the decision is wrong, so they make a decision, see where it goes, and then figure out what to do next.
Effective leaders adapt:
This goes along with the previous action above. Because leaders make decisions, they know they must also adapt when decisions go bad or situations change. Don’t stay the same even as time changes. You have to be willing and able to adapt when the situation demands it.
Effective leaders are resilient:
Times are tough. Bad decisions are made. The question becomes do you stay or go? The most effective leaders are resilient. They don’t give up because of one or two bad decisions. They stick with the organization and their choices. They are resilient because they know they can bounce back.
Effective leaders have influence:
John Maxwell says that leadership is influence. If you don’t have influence, you don’t have leadership. Be a leader who is able to influence those they lead.
How To Attain Leadership Attributes
You may not have all of the effective leadership attributes above. But you can obtain them. You will have to work through issues and challenges. It can be done if you desire to become a better leader.
Here are four ways you can attain effective leadership attributes.
One of the quickest ways to attain the leadership attributes you desire is to seek out a great leadership mentor. This can be an author you follow on social media, a blog you read, or, maybe most effective, is an in-person mentor you meet with on a regular basis. The best mentors will see the areas you struggle in, be proficient in them, and then give you the tips, tricks, and advice to gain the skills you need in those areas.
Practice, practice, practice:
Practice makes perfect. If you lack any of the attributes of effective leaders, practice those attributes. Sit down and force yourself to listen to others. Write out your vision multiple times, improving it each time. Seek to influence others positively. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
Education and training:
Education and training are important in becoming an effective leader. You may seek to go back to college for higher education, online courses, or in-person training seminars. The most effective leaders never stop learning. Find ways to continue to educate yourself.
Maybe I should have set this one as the first in this list but I wanted to make you think about it. What goals could you set to become a more effective leader? Use everything you’ve learned in this article to create goals to make you a leader others want to follow.