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8 Qualities of Effective Leaders

Alliant International University
Published 06/14/2018
4 minutes read
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Strong, effective leaders are essential in every field, but particularly in education. Whether it’s leading young people or adults, it’s necessary for leaders to have certain qualities to be successful. The following are eight essential qualities of an effective leader and it’s no surprise that great leaders have all these in common.

1. Optimism

A positive attitude can set the tone and motivate individuals to be more productive. People who are optimistic about not only themselves and what they’re doing, but about other people, are much more likely to inspire others to be, and do their best.

2. Ability to Make Difficult Decisions

The ability to make difficult decisions based on the facts and circumstances of each specific situation is a crucial quality of a great leader and effective leadership. The qualities of a good leader will rely on both reason and intuition. True leaders must also know when to make decisions solely on their own, and when they can, and should, be based on the input of others when working towards a common goal.

3. Ability to Delegate

A strong, confident and effective leader is not afraid to let others handle the workload and can ultimately give credit where credit is due. Strong leaders also get to know the people they’re working with well enough to decide who is best suited for the delegation of certain tasks. A person who understands this leadership style is typically a better leader.

4. Must be Approachable

In order to keep the channels of communication open, a true leader must be approachable at all times. You'll know that you have the qualities of a good leader when peers and subordinates feel comfortable bringing both good and bad news to you as the person in charge.

5. Integrity

Neither adults nor children are going to follow an individual that they feel they can’t trust. In a culture where people’s ethical standards seem to be rapidly deteriorating, a successful leader that embodies integrity will stand out in the crowd and naturally draw in followers.

6. Humility

Humble leaders are good leaders who know that even though they assume the leadership position and are in charge, the contributions of others are very important. It’s also necessary for great leaders to understand that admitting mistakes is not a sign of weakness, but of strength, self-awareness, and high emotional intelligence.

7. Transparency

People feel more comfortable when they know exactly what is expected of them and how those in charge expect them to accomplish those goals. In practical terms, this leadership style often entails good communication skills as it calls for communicating face to face instead of by email and delivering important information in a timely manner.

8. Authenticity

Effective leaders will not only be transparent regarding expectations, but about who they are as individuals when they take on a leadership role. Authentic and successful leaders direct with a consistency that is based on their true character, not a contrived style. Eventually, others will see through a facade.

While some individuals are born with leadership traits, nearly everyone can learn and build upon their leadership qualities, both personally and in the workplace. Striving to include these eight characteristics of effective leadership can improve leadership skills and increase effectiveness.

Are you interested in studying leadership? Alliant International University offers a PhD in Leadership program and a doctorate in Educational Leadership that will prepare you to take the reins in public, private, and non-profit sectors. For more information, contact Alliant today

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