Certain traits and skills are immensely important for being an effective leader. Research and studies say there are some common characteristics that all the renowned leaders possess. Be it their selfless behavior, compassion, clear mission or foresightedness. According to me, there are broadly 10 traits that successful leaders have shown:
- Active listening skills: Major communication gap arises due to lack of listening ability. People only hear what they want to hear and react immediately. A good leader hears more than he speaks. He tries to listen to both what is said and what remains unsaid. Rather than reacting, he understands, reflects and responds to the situation in the most effective manner.
- Learning ability: Successful leaders have the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. They keep learning all the time from every situation. They look upon failures as opportunities to gather experience for more success in future.
- Putting one-self in other’s shoe: Effective leaders are always considerate towards others. They try to understand a situation in different perspectives. From different stakeholders’ point of view, they analyse a scenario and take necessary action.
- Foresightedness: A clear mission and vision statement is crucial for a good leader. With experience, a better foresight is gained which can be used later on in taking various decisions or delegating tasks. Leaders are aware of the repercussions of an action and accordingly execute their plan.
- Risk taking ability: Hurdles are inevitable in the path of success. Leaders don’t expect everything to work out smoothly. They do take calculated risks to minimize the chances of failure or loss. Their confidence, courage and gut-feeling lets them take such risks.
- Concentration and focused thought: A well-defined mission statement always helps leaders to remain focused. Successful leaders have clear short term and long term goals. This prevents them from derailing from their managerial career. Certain exercises like meditation enhances your concentration which enables you in taking decisions quickly and efficiently.
- Concern about peer’s growth: True leaders are not only concerned about their own growth and prosperity, they also play a pivotal role in their subordinate’s development. Their aim is to empower everyone and make them efficient. Leaders often coach, guide and mentor their peers for overall improvement.
- Self-confidence: One must believe in oneself. This comes from experience, decisions and situations handled. The level of trust and belief that grows on oneself is immensely important. Effective leaders know what, why and how to do things to make them work.
- Passion for work: It is not always possible to do what you love. Hence you must love what you do. Leaders develop that passion towards what they do. Any work, easy or difficult, small or big, is equally important to them and they perform with the same passion and vigour.
- Energizing and inspiring ability: Good leaders set examples for others. Their deeds thoughts, strategies always become the benchmark. They also have the unusual power of energizing and revitalizing others and eventually boosting the team spirit.
I have always believed that being a leader is more difficult than being a boss. Leaders can enable others and they have the capability of changing the world. Hence it is the right blend of these 10 traits that actually brings the leader out of someone and sets him apart.