Everybody is born a leader, but at some point, all of us need help unlocking our full potential.

As we discover more about the capacity for human achievement and personality development, it becomes clear that nearly all skills and strengths can be developed. Focusing on the following six characteristics of effective leaders can help create a foundation built for success.

Effective Communication

Successful leaders know how to talk to people. Clear and transparent communication prevents misunderstandings and missed opportunities. Utilize effective documentation when initiating and implementing plans. A paper trail can be your map of progress and a great reference tool when unexpected issues or questions arise. Everyone benefits when everybody knows what’s going on.

Respect & Humility

Respecting the dignity of others earns the trust of those who work for you. While it’s the golden rule in life to treat others as you want to be treated yourself, it’s often the first forgotten when people reach a position of power. Remaining humble is not the same as humiliating yourself. Showing your peers that you value their perspective—even when you don’t fully agree—helps earn their respect, as well.

Setting Measurable Goals.

Clear guidelines and expectations equip you and your team with the confidence you need to quickly achieve each step of your plan. Manage the workload with a fair sense of timing and plan ahead for adjustments when necessary.

Delegation (Gulp!)

One of the most hard-to-learn characteristics of effective leaders is learning to delegate important tasks. Even if you trust your team, it can be hard to let go of tasks that require a high degree of responsibility. If you try to juggle too much, you’re more likely to hurt your progress in the end.

Being Proactive

The only constant is change—but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the unpredictable. Proactive problem-solving starts with identifying vulnerabilities up front. Having a consistent strategy for handling moments of urgency and crises maintains a firm base no matter how shaky things might get.

Creative Spirit

An innovative spirit shows up first on many lists praising ‘born leaders,’ but it can be the hardest to develop. The elusive nature of inspiration leaves many developing leaders feeling as though they will forever lack an essential talent for success. Like any skill, finding inspiration takes practice. Explore and discover activities and experiences that fulfill your sense of well-being. It is in the moments when we feel our best that our creative spirits have the support and space to rise.

Your success in developing these characteristics of effective leaders will not come from getting to a certain position, but from embracing the opportunity to grow in every moment. If you’re longing for support in developing yourself as a leader, I encourage you to reach out. Check out our leadership coaching page, and if you feel called, apply for a free discovery session today. I’d be honored to speak with you more!

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