I am not one to suggest that there are certain leadership traits that are required to be a great leader. That being said, I also don’t believe that people have been born with something that makes them a good leader. One trait of a successful leader could be a liability in someone else’s leadership.
A great leader is effective and effectiveness means understanding the situation, the team, and the desired results.
Rather than being born with certain traits leadership can be developed. However, just as there are habits of highly successful people there are also habits of highly successful leaders. Here are seven habits of highly effective leaders.
A Leader always does the right thing. That is one of the principles of Dave Thomas who founded Wendy’s. The leader has a high code of ethics.
A Leader has a vision. Clearly stated, the leader must have a clear cut idea of where he or she wants to go. Suppose you want to go to Hawaii for vacation and you go to the airport to buy a ticket. What if the screen said that the flight will take off heading east, and then when reaching cruising altitude it might turn south for a while and then head west? Would you fly? The leader, therefore, must know where the team or the organization is going or there will be no one to lead.
A Leader has passion for and believes in the vision. Would you buy from a person who is tentative about the company product or service? You can tell can’t you? A leader must believe in himself or herself, the vision, and the mission. When you find yourself spinning the wheels in your mind over and again about your worst-case scenario your team knows it. If you don’t believe in the vision and mission no one will follow you. An effective leader knows WHY before they know HOW.
A Leader is authentic. Leadership isn't just what we do, it's something that we are, which then drives what we do. Genuine leadership comes from within. It's authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, and trust. We must ring true to ourselves by exploring our inner space, gathering feedback on our personal behavior, and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
A Leader stays focused on the goal. Not only does a good leader view a situation as a whole, but is able to break it down into sub parts for closer inspection. Not only is the goal in view but a good leader can also break it down into manageable steps and make progress towards it.
A Leader stays on track during uncertainty. In time of turbulence people look to the leader for cue. The leader stays calm and reassuring.
A Leader has values sets the standards. The good leader not only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence.