7 Common Characteristics of Effective Leaders

7 Common Characteristics of Effective Leaders



No two leaders are alike, but there are common characteristics that most of them share. These “7 Common Characteristics of Effective Leaders” are one definition of what things all great leaders have in common that lead them to success. They are:

  1. Clarity
  2. Competence
  3. Continual Learning
  4. Constraint Analysis
  5. Creativity
  6. Concentration
  7. Courage

Let’s examine each of them in a little more detail.

1. Clarity

The more clearly things are defined and understood, the more quickly the results will be achieved.

All great business leaders have clarity around the following things:

i. They Know Themselves

  • What is your purpose?
  • What are your values?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

ii. They Understand Their Teams

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their limitations?
  • What are their expectations?

iii. They Know Their Business

  • Who is your ideal Customer?
  • What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
  • Who is your Competition?

2. Competence

All great leaders are really good at what they do. Doing what you are really good at leads to passion, happiness and a unique ability to lead.

i. Know the technology and tools to help you be highly competent.
ii. Master your craft.

3. Continuous Learning

Take the time to continually learn more about your industry and the world around you:

i. Read daily.
ii. Listen to audio books (especially if you do a lot of driving).
iii. Attend relevant conferences, courses and workshops.
iv. Broaden your horizons.
v. Find a trusted advisor.
vi. Form a Mastermind Group.

And most importantly. “Apply What You Learn”

4. Constraints

Leaders who accept the fact that there will be constraints that get in the way of success will achieve it much faster that those that do not. Take the time to identify your constraints and then plan on how you will overcome them.

Remember, 80% of constraints are internal; 20% are external, and internal constraints are easier to overcome once understood. They are completely within your control. Focus on internal constraints first.

5. Creativity

Be creative when looking for answers to the problems you are trying to resolve.

i. Think out of the box.
ii. Go to as many other sources as need be; employees, trusted advisors, colleagues.
iii. Hold brainstorming sessions where no thought is a dumb thought.

6. Concentration

Focus single-mindedly on one task and a time, and make sure that it is the most important task that you are focusing on.

There is no such thing as efficient multitasking and there is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.

7. Courage

Have the courage to do what is necessary in spite of self-doubt and fear. Be brave in the face of danger. The more action you take in the face of danger, the more self-confident you will become. A fearful leader will have great difficulty getting others to follow their lead.

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