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7 core Attributes of Effective Leaders


Effective, heart-led leaders share several identifiable characteristics that support effectiveness in their leadership roles. In this article, I share those that I believe are the most crucial for new leaders to understand and aspire to.


Good leaders share several identifiable characteristics that support effectiveness in their leadership roles. As with anything, there must always be a good balance of hard skills, technical expertise, and experience, as well as soft skills involving interpersonal relationships and the ability to work in, around, and through others. 


Curiosity. This is at the very top of our list because it is above all else the most critical element of leadership and is the principal element that allows one to find the greatest satisfaction in the work that they do, as well as discovering and engaging with the larger world. Curiosity is invariably driven by a desire to learn and explore. Children notoriously and incessantly asked the question “why” - this skill is set often lost in adulthood, but which should be rediscovered and embraced.

Desire to Contribute. There is no person walking the planet that does not aspire to achieve and become something more, or to have more, than what they currently do. There is nothing wrong with envisioning the life that we want to achieve if it is grounded in the understanding that the best things come through contribution. This happens on many levels, but within an organizational setting holds true. It will always be the one who is willing to contribute to the good of the many who will ultimately reap the rewards of personal growth and prosperity.

Future-Thinking. A great leader is a visionary, which means that they can envision a future state that improves and adapts to current reality. There is a common misperception that you are not a leader unless you have a certain title indicating such, but this is simply not true. We all know of people at various levels of any organization that is charismatic, thoughtful, and intent on making everything they touch better. These are true leaders.


Strategy Oriented. Leaders understand that everything they touch is a function inside of a larger system and that there are benefits, contributions, and commitments required at every level. Regardless of what function is that hand or the level within an organization, those with great leadership potential recognize that they are part of something much larger and align their energy and focus to support this top-level strategy.


Inclusive Mindset.  Effective leaders understand that they must invite others to work collectively toward common goals.  They approach their internal and external resources with an inclusive mindset and the power of “we” not “I.” They are keen to solicit input and promote a sense of ownership among those who will impact the organization's direction.


Authentic Communicators. The best leaders convey essential information with clarity, transparency, and timeliness. Team members are privy to new ideas, shifting dynamics, and executive decisions through direct communication from leadership. The underlying tone and intent of all communication are supportive and encouraging, not manipulative or forced. Leadership’s communication is intended to build trust, avoid misunderstandings, and inspire unity within the organization. This does not mean that you must be a great speaker or someone who enjoys being center stage, many quiet leaders move mountains simply because they can articulate a vision and a plan with confidence.


Willingness to Inspire and Motivate. The willingness to inspire and motivate others is a key leadership skill that supports a continuum of stability and success within an organization.  Leaders able to effectively inspire others demonstrate a vested interest in developing an individual’s talents and creating opportunities for personal and professional growth among team members within an organization. Highly effective leaders identify and tap into underlying factors that promote enthusiasm and commitment toward goal setting and achievement. at its very core, inspiration, and motivation require a keen understanding of people.

3 Things to Never Forget


Leadership comes more easily and naturally for some based on their ability to connect and communicate with others, but even the most notable leaders learned from others and broke a few rules along the way. By understanding the basics of what it means to lead successfully, you can put yourself on the right path to success. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if you are looking to move up and into a leadership role.


  • Learn, Learn, Learn. Being a leader means you need to have a broad understanding of not just your role and responsibilities, but also those around you. Understanding how you interact and support all areas of your organization shows that you are ready to work at a more strategic level.

  • People are Important. If you're thinking of moving into a leadership role based on your technical expertise but don't like the hassle of dealing with others, then rethink your plan because you WILL BE expected to motivate your team to perform. You can still move up but focus on a position that doesn't require supervising others.

  • The higher you go, the more you need to lead. Every leader must find that balance between the hands-on work that gives them satisfaction in doing the things they love, with the more complex work of managing people, relationships, expectations, and networks.

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