Five Traits of Effective Leadership?

leadership traits

Written by Mary Asante

Last updated: 12/01/2022

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What effective leadership traits do you demonstrate at work? Essentially, your traits shape the behaviours that people around you see. When asked to describe you, your team are likely to describe your personality. In response to questions such as ‘What is your Chief Executive like?’ ‘What is your Manager like?’  or ‘What is your boss like?’. How they respond will be hugely influenced by how they see you.

Your unique characteristics, your personality is likely to shape the type of leader you are. That is the real you, your authentic self. How often do you stop to reflect on how your behaviour impacts the people around you? How are you as a leader shaping or transforming your workplace and its culture? These five traits are necessary for effective leadership.

Integrity – The number one Trait of a Leader

There is no question about the impact of integrity on a team. Most leaders value integrity. This is one of the traits that is expected of leaders. Your customers, colleagues and direct reports all expect that you operate with integrity. As a leader, you demand integrity from your employees. But, how do you demonstrate this all-important trait? How do you inspire others through your behaviour?

You can show integrity by modelling fairness. By being fair in your approach to all your employees, you will take a firm and consistent approach to deal with all of them. You will have an interest in their wellbeing, development and success.   As well as constructively and objectively give them feedback when it is needed.

You will gain trust and respect if you are honest. This comes in handy when you make unpopular decisions. Your team is likely to support you and work with you to achieve your goal if they trust you. You will also have a better chance to motivate the team to achieve your goal.

Through integrity, you will be able to show commitment to your team.  This helps to build an environment where team members are committed.

5 traits of effective leadership

A Great Leadership has Vision

It is quite common in most organisations to see leaders talk passionately about their vision for their businesses. It is not uncommon to find employees who have no idea what the vision is or how they contribute to it or are expected to contribute to it. Your ability to communicate your vision and to share the big picture with your team will help them understand how they are adding value. It will help provide some clarity around their roles and responsibilities. This will in turn lead to better accountability as your team will take ownership.

If your team understands what you are trying to achieve and why they are likely to engage and work with you to make it happen. They can even become great ambassadors for you if they believe in what you are trying to achieve. You will create a dedicated team, willing to work with you to realise your vision.

Self-awareness – is an invaluable Leadership Trait

Being a self-aware leader is a strong trait to have as an effective leader. It helps you to understand who you are as a person and as a leader. This trait helps you become an effective leader.  As you will know how your behaviours and emotions impact you, your team and others around you.  Being self-aware will help you inform decisions, communicate better and develop interpersonal relationships.  You will be able to build strong and reliable relationships with your team. 

People will enjoy being around you as will have a good understanding of what is happening around them. Being self-aware you will be empathetic towards others and their needs. Self-awareness can help bring out the best in you and the team you work with.

A Great Leader is Decisive

One of the traits of an effective leader is their ability to make informed decisions. Your ability to make confident and timely decisions in your business is a key ingredient to your success as a leader. How do you go about making decisions? Do you involve others around you? Do you make decisions on your own – it is your call after all. Why involve anyone else? Are you transparent to your team about the decisions you make and how they may affect them? If you realise that you made a poor decision, how comfortable are you in admitting that you made a mistake? How easy is it for you to make a U-turn or make another decision based on the new information or evidence you have?

Does your team need to come to you for approval every time they need to make a decision? Are you empowering them to make decisions on their own? Do you trust them to make the right decisions?

Collaboration Encourages Innovation

How often do you hear the question ‘are you a team player?’. The nature of teamwork involves collaborating with others to achieve the desired goal. Do you encourage collaboration in your workplace? Do you engage and empower your team members to collaborate with each other? Are different departments or functions encouraged to collaborate? Are your teams aware of their remits? Do they have clear objectives and expectations? Do they know what they can do within reasonable limits? Are they empowered to speak up and can they do so freely without fear? Do they know how to engage in team and organisational activities? As a leader, you will create an environment and set the tone for your teams to collaborate and share knowledge and expertise.  This saves time, increases efficiency and productivity. Empowering your team to collaborate will make them feel trusted, supported and valued.

To be an effective leader, you will need to demonstrate through your behaviours the five traits of effective leadership. The answer to so tell me about your CEO will paint a picture of an exemplary leader. A lot of the next generation of leaders will aspire to be like you.

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