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The dictionary definition of a leader is simple: a person who leads. However, those who have been a leader or worked under a leader know that there is much more that involved in a leadership role. In today’s workplace, a leader isn't just someone with a fancy title and a big paycheck. Leaders are all around us and can be found in many different forms – from CEO to intern.
Just about anyone can become a leader, but what matters is the effectiveness of a person’s leadership. Successful leaders have many similar qualities and traits that make their leadership styles successful. If you're looking to take on more leadership responsibility or are stepping into a new role, here are some of the top qualities effective leaders possess.
A leader can only do so much without a clear, realistic vision to strive for. While they aren't psychics, many effective leaders can visualize future end goals and take the necessary steps to achieve those goals. Many leaders have a clear, exciting idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish.
Effective leaders strive to streamline their ideas throughout a company or organization to ensure everyone is on the same page. For most leaders, their vision is a primary motivation, acting like a force within them and driving them to action.
This might sound cliché, but being courageous is one of the more important qualities a leader must possess. Having courage means you are willing to take risks in the achievement of your goals (in relation to your vision) with no assurance of success.
As many have witnessed, there is no certainty in life or business, so every commitment you make and every action you take entails a risk of some kind. Courage is about taking that leap of faith and listening to your gut. If you fail, get up a try again!
With leadership comes responsibility. Arguably the most important quality for leaders is being humble. Often, leaders get most of the spotlight and praise. A leader’s true character is shown in how they react to that success. Having a sense of humility can translate into happier employees.
One study reports that employees who perceived altruistic behavior from managers reported being more innovative, suggesting new product ideas and doing better work. It’s important to be humble in success and free of bitterness in defeat.
This quality might seem to be a no-brainer, but integrity should be at the core of every leader. The root of integrity is truthfulness. Without truthfulness, a company or organization is destined to fail. Truthfulness requires that a leader always tell the truth, to all people, in every situation.
A survey conducted by Robert Half Management shows that 75% of employees believe integrity is the most important quality a C-suite executive must possess for a successful business. Integrity is important for creating truthful relationships internally and externally. Without an ethical foundation, a business is unable to succeed.
There are many important qualities a leader must possess to be effective, but often these qualities vary among different businesses and industries. However, the above are core qualities almost all natural leaders have. If you’re looking to increase your leadership skills, start by evaluating these qualities into your own leadership style. Once you decide to become a leader, you can pursue your life with a positive attitude and design your own future!