There are a million traits necessary for qualities that make for an effective leader and of course, everyone’s idea and experience of a leader differs.
But there are certain key traits that many experts will agree as being fundamental when leading- whether it’s a business of four people or 400, the following traits are paramount;
Knowing the difference between the goose and the egg– In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, he uses this fable as a metaphor for effectiveness. This fable is about a goose and a farmer. The goose lays a golden egg every day and the farmer becomes rich. But when his increasing wealth turns to greed he kills the goose to get all the eggs at once, only to find the goose completely empty. If you adopt a pattern of life that focuses on golden eggs and neglects the goose, you will soon be without the asset that produces golden eggs- any good leader will know the importance of taking care of their producers first and know that the people are the Key to success.
Not leading by force- As Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO of Snuggwugg and founder of Mompreneur Mogul quoted, “Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” An effective leader inspires, guides, and focuses their team without force. Nathan Mann at Nathan Mann Training told Recruit Ireland that “A great leader creates the opportunity and gives individuals the tools to achieve their own greatness.”
Recognises good work- Every good leader should recognise good work when they feel it’s deserved. It promotes what the company values most and it also motivates the employee. Good leaders recognise their employees and great leaders appreciate them. “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.” – Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
Willing to help – Leadership isn’t about being in charge, it’s about motivating the team and helping them along the way to achieve the set goals. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”- Charles Dickens
Giving their employee’s space– Great leaders give their employees space the be creative and make choices. In a study carried out on the difference between effective management and micro-management by Professor Anita Bans- Akuty for the Global Scientific Journal, the results read, ‘Employees respond positively to effective management and negatively to micromanagement. Though the line between effective management and micromanagement is very thin, every manager should be able to critically examine (themselves) so as to push the pause or stop button when features of micromanagement begin to show up.’
“A good leader has the ability to change their leadership style dependent on their teams’ skills and emotional needs,” Nathan said. “A great leader isn’t born with greatness; it is developed through years of reflection, determination, and sacrifice,” he continued.