Traits of an Effective Leader
Leadership in any organization is entrusted with the responsibility of taking the organization forward, its establishes the direction in which the whole of the business shall move. Leadership has changed, while in late twentieth century it was mostly top-down thinking, with managers, professional and executives solving problems and thinking about attainment of organizational objectives, this has changed in the twenty-first century where everyone is strategic, thinking, leading, and doing. Based on my experience of working in different organization and across two different continents, i have found that a leader should have the following traits in order to be influential.
A leader shall put himself in its employee's place, and than will have a better understanding of the issues and challenges. for a leader it's empathy that would make a difference and not sympathy.
A leader needs to speak the truth, a lie wont work, a leader should always clearly communicate the true picture, this will help to bring people on board and establish trust.
If you have given them the job, then the organization must understand that these people will have something, otherwise they wouldn't have been part of the organization. A leader has to believe in the abilities of its employees, a leader shall trust the employee with not just responsibility but authority.
Be clear with what he/she wants
A leader who fails to provide a proper direction is not a leader at all, when an employees comes to the leader with a problem, a leader shall be clear of what action needs to be taken, rather that putting it back to the employee and leaving it totally on the employee discretion, a leader shall clearly provide instructions, and even if the leader asks the employee to make a decision, the leader must then believe and trust employee's judgment.
Has to be into things
A leader just walking around is not good, he/she has to get their hands dirty. Get into the stuff, get involved, let the employees witness how much interest you have in the activities of the organization, this would help in generating enthusiasm amongst the employees, they will feel motivated and above all will understand that there is somebody watching and will make them more attentive.
A leader is either a multiplier or a diminisher, one who listen to the suggestions, ideas and trust the employees is a multiplier. A leader must listen to the subordinates in order to nurture their talent.
Should be Done - Will be Done attitude wont work in the fast paced business world, it the let's do it approach that will get the business moving and the business will make a name for itself. A leader who is keep on implementing its decisions, one who takes action, one's who doesn't leave the things till the end, one who is proactive is more influential than the rest.
We all work for rewards, a leader has to blend in a good mix of financial and non-financial rewards for its employees. Sometimes a tap on the back is more influential than bonus. A rewarding culture within the business will boost discretionary behavior and will give a boost to performance.
Embrace mistakes to avoid blunders
I think it is one of the most important trait, and most of the time missing in leaders, understand that its human that are employee, and humans will make mistakes, a leader needs to create a culture where there is learning, where employees love to learn, they learn from everything, a leader must understand that its not the mistakes that hurt the organization but it is not learning from them. All employees must be made to learn from their mistakes so that blunder can be avoided.