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Must-have traits of an effective leader

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It is said that good help is hard to find and, if that’s true, finding a truly effective leader can be quite a task. For a leader to be successful, there are prerequisites. That person must be able to stop every now and then and evaluate himself or herself. How well are they doing as an individual first, and are they walking their talk? Is their life in order? In an age where social media makes leaders more visible, effective leaders must be leaders of themselves first. {{more}}

1.  In addition to self-leadership, a good leader knows how to work well with diverse populations.  Since diversity cuts across racial, ethnic, generational and social lines, working in harmony with different people to meet the organizational goals will take a sensitive, open and insightful person to know how best to meet the needs of the different groups.   

2.  Effective leaders are motivators.  Sometimes progress seems impossible or an extra push is needed in order to overcome a particular business barrier. It’s during these times that employees really want someone who believes in their abilities and can positively motivate them to produce exceptional work, especially in high-pressure environments.

3.  Effective leaders are great communicators.  Studies show that when we listen to someone speak, we receive 55 per cent of what is said through body language, 38 per cent through tone and inflection, and only seven per cent of the actual words are understood. It is critical that leaders are very clear and direct when giving instructions. Leave almost nothing to speculation or interpretation, as that is when costly errors occur.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.”
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