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What Are The Distinguishing Traits Of An Effective Leader?
There is a big difference between leading and managing. Managers are efficient but not necessarily effective. Leaders are catalysts to get things done. Leaders are effective. To lead effectively you need to have the ability to influence people to follow you. Leaders have influence. Effective leaders have credibility due to their success and as a result, they gain additional leadership responsibilities. Leaders understand the need to never stop recruiting because it’s impossible to build a successful business without a great team of people around you.
Do you have influence? Are you a manager or are you a leader?
Leaders want to lead – their heart is willing. At times in business and in professional sport, people are put into leadership positions and are not effective because they don’t have a willing heart to lead. Effective leaders are internally motivated and they are compelled to lead. How motivated are you? Are you able to agree to disagree and flow with the people you lead, because agreeing to disagree is a key to developing a highly effective team?
Effective leaders are able to use their influence to bring about compromise.
The quality of our leadership is directly proportional to the quality of our ability to follow another leader – allowing yourself to be led. Who is really leading you? Where are they leading you?
Some leaders have no idea how to be led and how to follow. This is a key leadership principle that separates managers from leaders. Strength and courage would be at the top the list of characteristics of a leader but wisdom is number one when it comes to leadership. Understanding this principle results in leaders allowing themselves to be led. One essence of wisdom is having the ability to observe and discern whether we are relevant and what we need to reinvent when it comes to the way we do business. What do you need to change as the leader to take your business to the next level? What do you need to reinvent?
Managers are required for the micro, not the vision. Effective leaders are never afraid of declaring the cost of the vision. Great leaders cast vision. The leaders vision will inspire and energise those around them. What is your vision?
If you want to increase your wisdom, it’s about realising you don’t have all the answers. If you truthfully recognise this then you will seek wisdom. The greater the wisdom, the greater the results will be. What wisdom do you need to seek?
Only by knowing yourself first can you bring about a change in others, which is the highest calling of leadership and separates managers from leaders. Leaders lead people and bring about change in people so that the people they lead become empowered and more effective at what they do. Leaders face the truth head on. For you to be more effective, what do you need to face head on that you really need to change? Are you prepared to ask yourself tough questions?
This will develop your character, which is required for you to move from management to leadership. A person’s ability to first bring about a change in themselves is the first stop in the journey of leadership. You’ve go to be honest with yourself. What do you have to be honest about?
A leaders character is the result of the decisions and choices they make as they grow and mature in business and their personal life. It takes decades of hard work and discipline to build ones character. Character is the result of choices we make to act one way rather than another – there are always two sides to a story and to discern what the real truth is, rather than being manipulated and deceived, when leading people. Are you making the right choices regardless of the cost? Are you able to discern the truth?
Your character must always fit your own personality. Everything an effective leader does is directed at successful completion of goals. Leaders focus on the end result at all times. They are always focussed on the big picture. The difference between a great leader and an average leader, is knowing what you want and what its’ supposed to look like. Do you know what the end looks like?