Three Traits of Effective Leadership

We have introduced the concept of Transleader in the previous articles. We discussed how a leader who is integral to the organization and vice versa could prove to be an effective leader. Taking the discussion forward, this article reviews the three traits that make for effective leadership and separates leaders from followers. The three traits that are discussed here are character, vision, and relationship effectiveness. It needs to be mentioned that these three are not the only traits but more like these traits are essential to leadership. In other words, these traits are necessary but not exhaustive.

To take the first trait, character of the leaders is important as it defines who they are, what they will do, and what they would not do, and what they stand for. In other words, the individuals who have their values and beliefs in deep-rooted ways would be able to withstand the pressures and tests of their values and principles. Since leadership is all about being the final decision maker, it is important for the leaders to be committed to principle and be driven by values instead of merely pursuing the bottom line. Hence, the first trait of effective leadership is the strength of character that leaders have.

The next trait of effective leadership is the ability to be a visionary and have a sense of future possibilities. The point here is that leaders are individuals whom the followers look up to guide them towards the future and hence leaders ought to have visionary capabilities to actualize this need. We have examples from business, government, and society where true leaders like the late legendary Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Larry Paige and Sergei Brian of Google proved that they had game changing ideas about the future. The essence of 21st century leadership is not only about peering into the future but also making the future a place for the organization to thrive and succeed. In other words, leaders are those individuals who are not threatened by the future and instead like the legendary mythological prophets in every religion can show pathways to the future which the followers can follow.

The third trait is how effective the leaders are in personal relationships. Since most leaders realize that, the whole game of life is all about people and the relationships that one builds with those whom one encounters; effectiveness in personal relationships distinguishes the true leaders from the rest. Though this does not mean that leaders need only charisma or be a people’s person, the point here is that by nurturing and incubating relationships, the leaders can prove that their behavior towards others and the effectiveness, which they display in their relationships, pervades the whole organization and infects others positively to do the same.

Finally, it needs to be noted that leaders must find the organizations that they are comfortable in and hence their characteristics and the organizational DNA must be aligned to create a winning combination. After all, one can be the right person for the wrong job and the wrong person for the right job and what matters is whether one is the right person for the right job.


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Leadership