What it takes to be an Effective Leader

Be an Effective Leader



We are all born with certain Leadership qualities, some will always possess more than others. These qualities may not necessarily be academic only. A large part of leadership is getting to know you, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, knowing how to deal with others, knowing how to motivate those around. A few small changes can go a long way. Here are some tips that will give you a head start.

1.   Know yourself:

Understand your strengths and weaknesses and find ways to build up your strengths and ways to eliminate your weaknesses. Make a conscious daily effort to perform so as to allow others to look up to you for direction. Continually self-reflect on what you did well and where you can improve and by coaching yourself and being more introspective you will create good habits.

2.   Don’t be afraid to ask others for help:

There is no shame in asking for help. No one can ever have all the answers. Use those around you to utilise the available knowledge base to solve problems. This will strengthen the team culture to become more productive.

3.   Invest in others:

An effective Leader wins loyalty through their generosity to others. Share your knowledge and mentorship with others in a genuine and sincere way. Your goal as a Leader is to grow those around you to your level. When your team grows – so do you, and in this way you can have an incredible effect and impact on your organisation.

4.   Recruit people around you who are smarter than you are:

So often, managers see this as a threat that others will outperform them and eventually overtake them. A Leader will dispute that theory. A knowledgeable person is not always a leader as Leaders have unique personality traits that not everyone possesses. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – and so is your team. Your goal is to forge the strongest possible team.

5.   Learn how to run effective meetings:

The expectation of an effective Leader is to run effective meetings. Find out what you need to know before, during, and after the meeting that you maintain the control to earn others’ respect of you. Make sure that you are familiar with the content to be discussed; the processes (meeting, organisation and legalities) required to moving forward.

6.   Be prepared:

Don’t risk compromising your credibility and authority by entering into a situation without appropriate research and advance preparation. Know what is happening around you, within your team, in the organisation, your team members (personal and business). This does not refer to gossip, rather pertinent information that will assist you in making the right decisions and for giving best guidance.

7.   Maintain a professional tone in all communication:

Assume that every e-mail, memorandum, letter, or just advice you give will become part of the public record. In an age of transparency and access to information, this may very well turn out to be the case. Ensure that in all situations you maintain your level of professionalism, assertiveness, control and mentoring and coaching skills.

8.   Stay positive:

People turn to leaders for inspiration and a reason to believe. Give them the positive energy and motivation they need to keep going, no matter what. We all have good days and bad days; however, your team will perform to your mood. If you are feeling good and positive so will they. Alternatively, if you are in a bad mood and stressed out, your team will become less productive and the team member taking on a negative feeling and frame of mind.

9.   Have a vision:

Leaders are people who raise the bar. Keep your vision moving forward, and think creatively. Help inspire the team to perform to the best of their ability by continually challenging their mindset to think beyond their limitations. If they do not have access to your vision, they will never be able to perform in the direction you want them to take and become confused in what they need to do, which leads to counter-productivity.

10.   It’s not about you:

Everyone wants to be liked, but there is nothing worse than being described as a nice person but an ineffectual leader. Forget your ego, and get the job done. People will admire you all the more for it. Rather be disliked for the right reasons than liked for the wrong reasons. A good leader does not worry about being liked or not, rather that people perform and the job gets done.


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