Saturday, April 9, 2011

Traits of an Effective Leader

  • Leads with integrity – “I conduct business ethically and treat people with fairness, and expect the same in return.”
  • Is a role model – “If long hours is what it takes, I’m the first one there with my sleeves rolled up.”
  • Gives guidance – “How can people improve and grow if they are not guided by mentors who have their best interest in mind?”
  • Learns how to listen – “It’s not easy, but I have to watch for nonverbal signals, as well as what is actually being said, by focusing only on the person in front of me.”
  • Is honest – “There can be no leadership without trust. That trust is earned – every day – by my behavior.”
  • Is a teacher – “Much the same as a mentor, I need to articulate a vision and inspire confidence in my ‘students.’”
  • Keeps an open mind – “I don’t know all the answers and I’m willing to admit it. Wisdom doesn't just come with age or years of experience; it comes from inspiration and applying lessons learned.  I am open to my team’s insight and ideas.”
  • Is willing to learn – “Leaders get stale if they don’t keep up with what’s going on around them.”
  • Is consistent – “People know they can count on me to give praise or discipline equally to each person.”
  • Always follows through – “I don’t just show up, give instructions, and leave it to everyone else to figure it out from there. I do what I say I will do. No excuses.”
  • Plans ahead – “There should be no surprises. We have to focus on the challenges at hand, but we can never lose sight of what’s to come.”
  • Has realistic expectations – “There has to be a healthy balance between aggressive ‘wishes’ and what can be reasonably done given time and talent constraints. I apply this to my team as well as to others.”

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