Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

12 Traits of an Effective Leader

Leaders are the most influential member of a team, but remember they are, in fact, leading a team. It’s not always easy to live up to the characteristics of an effective leader, but these traits will ensure your staff’s success and loyalty to you, and can establish morale, order and discipline.

Respected leaders operate with integrity and honesty. They may not always be right, but they can be trusted to assure justice. An effective leader, whether in sales management or in the U.S. Marine Corps, holds the same ideals and principles. Leaders are the most influential member of a team, but remember they are, in fact, leading a team. It’s not always easy to live up to the characteristics of an effective leader, but these traits will ensure your staff’s success and loyalty to you, and can establish morale, order and discipline.

Emotional stability. A quality leader will be able to tolerate stress. They hold a positive attitude and are overall well adjusted. Leaders are eternal optimists with a positive attitude to focus on the opportunities among every problem. They also know that attitudes are contagious, a good one radiates, a poor one aggravates.

These traits will ensure your success as an effective leader, securing staff loyalty and morale”

Enthusiasm. Leaders are active, energetic and enthused. They are quick and alert, and they welcome change. If you show passion for what you do, your staff is more likely to inherit that zeal.

Conscientious. Leaders have a high standard of excellence, but are willing to help others reach that criterion. They have a need for order and tend to be self-disciplined. They listen and are receptive to bad news. Effective leaders know better than to “shoot the messenger.” They listen with sincerity, and have a true concern for people.

Social. Leaders are approachable and thick-skinned. They welcome the opportunity to grow with and for their staff. They spend time talking to their sales reps, both learning and supporting their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders also need a sense of accountability. They’re staff must trust them to make the right decision for the betterment of the company and the staff.

Poise. Carrying themselves with dignity and composure is a vital asset in an effective leader. They should come off as insensitive to hardship, showing the staff self-assurance and control. They are also there to empower their staff. Micromanagement stifles effectiveness, creativity and growth.

Confidence. A respected leader are self-confident, resilient and tend to have little need for others approval. They are sure in what they are, and what they’re doing. They’re the leader for a reason.

Integrity. Humility and honesty are the fundamentals of leadership. Leaders are there to serve their team. They know that if something is worth doing it is imparitive that it is done to the best of their ability. They understand the sacrifices that are necessary from both personally and within their staff.

Uninhibited. An effective leader faces a problem head on. They make it their mission to take problem and make it into an opportunity.

Communicate. Leaders need to be able to communicate clearly, concisely and consistently. They must know how to relate to their staff and teach without commanding. They give clear direction and are there to be a mentor. Leaders ensure their staff is well-informed.

Funny. Ok, so the leader doesn’t necessarily have to be funny, but they do have to know how to laugh at themselves. They must have a sense of humor and realize that life isn’t always overly serious. They are not power hungry, and realize that although they may have the power, they don’t always have to use it.

Respectful. Descent leaders treat everyone with respect and dignity, just as they wish to be treated. They are sure to criticize only in private and praise in public. It is important for them to avoid losing their temper.

Courageous. It takes courage to be a leader. To stand in front of your staff while practicing these characteristics is not easy. Hold your stand, and stay close to the action. It takes courage to use power effectively, show your staff they’re being lead both effectively and courageously.