blog placeholder image

8 Qualities of Effective Leaders


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 that a leader should possess to be effective in their role.

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 effective leadership. A good leader will rely on both reason and intuition. 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.

3. Ability to Delegate

A strong, confident leader is not afraid to let others handle the workload and can ultimately give credit where credit is due. They also get to know the people they’re working with well enough to decide who is best suited for the delegation of certain tasks.

4. Must be Approachable

In order to keep the channels of communication open, a leader must be approachable at all times. This means peers and subordinates should feel comfortable bringing both good and bad news to 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 leader that embodies integrity will stand out in the crowd.

6. Humility

Humble leaders know that even though they’re in charge, the contributions of others are very important. It’s also necessary for leaders to understand that admitting mistakes is not a sign of weakness, but of strength and self-awareness.

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 often means 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. Authentic 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 qualities can improve leadership skills and increase effectiveness.

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


What will your impact be?

Return to Top