There is so much out there in the world about leadership. You’ve got endless courses, books, and seminars, all promising to teach you effective leadership skills.
But what does good leadership really look like?
Well, it’s an art form, that’s for sure. And a skill that needs constant reflection and refining.
We’ve all encountered leaders who make us feel like we can do anything we set our minds to. And we’ve all met someone in a position of power who has made us want to retreat into a dark cave to binge-watch cat videos.
There are some universal traits that all good leaders possess. Let’s discuss 7 of my favorite things that effective leaders do, and trust me; the world needs more of them!
1) Listening leadership
Picture this: a boss or a manager who actively listens and makes you feel like your voice matters. Someone who doesn’t just nod and make those “mmhm” noises to sound like they are engaged.
Leaders who genuinely listen are masters of empathy. They’ll use finely tuned listening skills to understand and connect with their team, ensuring everyone gets to say their piece.
These kinds of leaders empower their teams to speak up with the knowledge that their opinions and ideas actually count for something.
If you find yourself making time for your team to express themselves authentically, you are probably well on your way to being an effective leader.
2) Dynamically decisive
Effective leadership demands that you are able to make wise decisions faster than a speeding bullet.
These kinds of leaders know that wavering and second-guessing in the land of indecision can be disastrous when it comes to the crunch.
Great decision-making comes from their ability to gather all the information, analyze and process it effectively, and make a swift call that benefits the whole team.
Granted, they won’t always get it right the first time, but they’ll own up to the mistake and learn from it.
So, if you know you have the power to make a snap without breaking a sweat, you might have what it takes to be a dynamically decisive leader.
3) Humble humility
In an ocean of egos, a humble leader is a rare find indeed. These leaders don’t feel the need to flaunt their great deals and major accomplishments in the faces of others.
They teach people how they got to that position, empowering others to rise up and step into their own greatness.
Effective leaders recognize the strengths of others and know that success is only possible because of their great teams. They’ll share the credit generously and readily admit when they don’t know something.
They are always ready to ask for help when needed — knowing that one person can’t know everything.
Unassuming and powerful, these leaders support others on their journey to the top.
So if you know you are more concerned with shining the spotlight on others than taking center stage yourself, you might just be a humble leader in the making.
4) Adaptability alchemist
Change is happening all the time, everywhere, at every moment, and effective leaders are well aware of this.
They have a chameleon-like ability to blend into new environments and situations seamlessly.
And they are always finding practical solutions to unexpected pitfalls and challenges.
These kinds of leaders embrace changes and view them as opportunities for growth and development.
They’ll look at a setback as a stepping stone, another learning experience on the path to success.
Are you someone with an uncanny ability to juggle multiple projects like spinning plates? Can you keep them all going when the ground gets a little shaky? Do you look for the way forward rather than focusing on the problem?
If so, then you probably possess the art of adaptability and are growing your effective leadership skills by the minute.
5) Communication clarity
A leader who can turn something as complicated as astrophysics into a simple sound bite is the kind of workplace communication wizard we all need.
They have the power to inspire, motivate and connect with their teams through the magic of words and ideas.
Whether it’s a powerful speech or a strongly worded email, this effective leadership skill is undoubtedly one to work on.
In order for a project to function smoothly, we need clear communication that doesn’t leave us second-guessing or wondering what the next step is.
Do you have a knack for turning a complicated concept into an engaging PowerPoint presentation? Or an ability to make your message resonate with the whole room?
If so, you might be one of those communication wizards stepping into your power as an effective leader.
6) Impeccable integrity
Leaders with unwavering integrity stand out from the rest of the pack in a big way. They are guided by a strong moral compass that isn’t swayed by manipulative tactics or underhand business maneuvers.
Keeping their word is deeply important to leaders with integrity — they know the value of seeing through on their promises.
They aren’t afraid to speak out when they spot an injustice — even if it’s uncomfortable.
A leader with this quality will guide their team with honesty, trust, and transparency. And those values will trickle down into the rest of the organization, making life so much easier for everyone on board.
If you find yourself always speaking the truth, ready to stand up for your beliefs, you are likely incorporating integrity into your leadership skill set.
7) Empowerment for everyone
Highly effective leaders don’t hoard power; they give it away freely.
A leader who is focused on empowerment will recognize the innate skills and passions of those within their team. They’ll facilitate the growth and expansion of those passions within the working environment.
These kinds of leaders are experts in delegation. They have a deep trust in their teams to execute plans and deliver projects in their own brilliant ways.
Leadership isn’t just about being in control — it’s about empowering others to reach their full potential and helping them along the way.
If you know that you want your team to reach the highest heights of their excellence (and can help guide them there), you definitely possess this trait.
The traits I’ve outlined here aren’t magical superpowers. They are skills that can be cultivated and nurtured to fruition over time.
Remember to always be willing to learn from your mistakes and make adjustments where necessary.
With enough humility and grace, you’ll be part of the movement where leadership becomes synonymous with greatness. So let’s lead our teams through life in a way that inspires them to reach for the stars.