learn what qualities we already have. My simple leadership test can help you to identify what areas you need to work on. Below are some of the core qualities that make for an effective leader:
These are fairly basic qualities that we would expect a leader to have. However, there are other more subtle qualities that may not be so obvious, for example, would you rather follow someone that is genuinely interested in who you are and what you can do or someone that is only focused on what they can get out of you?
I believe most people would wish for the former. A basic facet of human nature is that we want to feel valued, recognised for the effort and work that we do. Most people would go that extra mile for someone who they felt truly "got them" and respected what they can contribute.
Thus the most effective leaders are not necessarily the most charismatic or intelligent but rather they are the people whom inspire us to action, for whom we would work that extra hour to get a project finished. For whom we would work a weekend to make sure the final test on a new facility is completed satisfactorily.
It is no great surprise then that these are the qualities that set a person aside from the rest as a true leader. A leader as opposed to a manager. These are the qualities that can be learnt, learn how to show people you are really listening to what they are saying. Learn how to recognise people in a manner that is genuine and respectful. Learn how to develop that sense of when something is not right with a worker and what to do about it. For let's face it, without being able to inspire team workers to do the task at hand in the manner required and produce results that are expected a leader will not last long. Without being able to inspire creativity products can stagnate, problems will remain unsolved or worse, be solved in a costly manner.
I find it interesting also to consider the rise of the self-employed, what impact has ineffective leadership had on those people who simply decide they do not want to be lead but would rather make their own path and rely only on themselves for business success? I am sure many of you who are reading this will know what I mean when I talk of working in an environment where you do not feel valued for the person you are nor have the contributions you have made recognised and the resultant lethargy that can result. How when you see something that could be done better but simply put up with it because you do not believe your comments would be welcomed or worse, you could be victimised for speaking out. Is it any wonder then that in Australia in 1990 there were 14% of the workforce self-employed but today that figure has risen to 17%. In the United Kingdom in 1983 just 10% of the workforce were self-employed, but today the figure is 50% higher at 15%. However, in the United States the pattern is reversed, in 1983 10% of the workforce were self employed but this has dropped to just 6% in 2016. Does this mean the US has more effective leaders than the UK or Australia? I do not know but it is an interesting question to ponder.
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