Essential Qualities of Leadership

I write from time to time on the essential qualities of leadership. There are so many truly essential qualities required for Effective Leadership that I could write a book on the subject. But until I do, here’s another blog post on just a few of them.

An effective leader absolutely needs the confidence to make decisions and set a clear direction. Effective leaders also know that one of the best ways to instill confidence in others is to display their own confidence. They do not however allow their confidence to cross the line into arrogance. A leader who humbly shows their confidence encourages others to step up and lead.

Effective leaders must be able to think on their feet and make sagacious and quick decisions. One of the biggest “separators” between leaders is the size and range of the “picture” that they see. Lesser leaders see how the next two dominoes will fall, the most effective leaders see how the next 20 will fall. Good decisions come from considering not just the consequences of a decision but the consequences of the consequences. Effective leaders are not afraid to make the tough decisions.

Effective leaders also take responsibility for those decisions and actions. Mistakes are a part of life, and effective leaders own their mistakes. They do not blame others, even when there may be some blame to share. They learn from their mistakes and do not allow today’s mistake to hinder tomorrow’s decisions.

Effective leaders experience stress in their lives. It’s just a fact of life as a leader. The reality is that the more effective a leader is, the more stress they are likely to endure. During times of stress, effective leaders remain calm and focused. They know that the people they lead look to them for strength in challenging times.

Effective leaders know that leading by example isn’t just the best way to lead; it’s actually the only way. Leading by example shows followers what is expected of them and what is or is not acceptable. Effective leaders know they are the model for how others are expected to behave and perform.

You’re people are watching you, your role as a leader is to help them see what they need to see in order for them to succeed. Your own success depends on it!