Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They differ in race, age, beliefs, educational background, and experience. They all have different leadership styles. However, when it comes to effective leadership, there are common traits that stand out.

What are these characteristics? Keep reading to see if you’ve got what it takes to be an effective leader.

1. Ability to inspire others

This separates a true leader from managers and supervisors. Anyone can supervise a group of people, give out orders, and manage the books. To inspire and motivate the team to work toward a common goal is a sign of effective leadership. People mentored by an inspiring leader become more creative and make a bigger contribution than what is expected of them.


2. Respected by the people

A boss-like attitude is often feared and avoided, but a well-respected leader is welcomed by the people. Respect is earned when the people see the hours and hard work that their leader puts in. To be respected is one of the key effective leadership qualities of a true leader.


3. Decision-making skills

A leader understands that making decisions is an important aspect of leadership. They are adept at making well-informed decisions that will benefit the group or organisation. Once they have made a decision, they stand by it and see it through.


4. Vision

There are different leadership strategies, but the greatest leaders we admire today are all visionaries. They have a clear picture of where they want to be, and they can share this vision with their team. Despite challenges and adversities, visionary leaders never lose focus of what they want the group to achieve.


5. Problem-solvers

Problem-solving is one of the most important leadership skills. A boss usually points out the mistakes of others, while an effective leader helps the team come up with solutions. People look up to leaders they can count on when challenges and difficulties arise.


6. Team communication

A leader must be able to reach out and communicate effectively to everyone in the group. Successful leaders know that communication is a two-way street. To get a feel of what is happening within the organisation, they listen and are truly interested in what everyone has to say.


7. Accountability

Effective leadership means being responsible for your actions. A true leader can admit his mistakes and does not point fingers when something goes wrong. They stand by their decisions and are willing to answer for the outcomes of the entire group’s choices and behaviour.


8. Share the spotlight

Great leaders know that the success of the group is always a team effort. They give credit where credit is due. They make sure to compliment members for a job well done. Letting others shine empowers the team and makes everyone more excited to do their share in reaching their goals.


9. Delegate responsibilities

Leaders know the importance of utilising every resource available to them. That includes making sure that the manpower and skills available must be put to good use. They do that by assigning tasks and responsibilities to the right people. Delegating tasks and responsibilities means you trust your members and that you believe in them.

Leaders may have different management styles, but these common characteristics can be seen in the day to day activities of successful leaders.

What other traits should a leader possess? Let us know what you think.