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Top 8 Qualities That Make a Powerful Leader

We are all leaders by choice or default

Whether we know it or not we are all leaders in our lives, we make choices and decisions that affect people in our professional and personal lives. As the head of a team, business or firm, a leader has a major impact on his or her people. Individuals entrain to the leader’s values, behaviour, and what they stand for. Here are the top 8 qualities of super effective leaders:

They are dynamic communicators

Effective leaders communicate in a way that is open and transparent using their body language, voice and words effectively. They meet their people where they are, tailoring key messages to them appropriately. Above all else, they tell the truth and through that build genuine trust. They are not afraid to face possible fall-out that may occur following difficult news. When things go well, they take time to acknowledge people’s contributions and celebrate success.

They are Authentic

Great leaders walk their talk, leading by example. They show their core values in everything that they do and inspire others to do the same. Authentic leaders generate a great following, increasing connection and respect within their teams and beyond. They become the example people use when describing a great leader.

They show strength in times of change or uncertainty

Let’s face it, there are massive challenges facing most firms these days and it can be very easy for a leader to feel overwhelmed. Great leaders acknowledge that a challenge exists before the rumour mill starts to create speculation and fear. They communicate a clear vision or strategy of how as an organisation, they will work together to navigate through the change, be it a major organisational restructure or change in business model.

They delegate responsibility but keep accountability

Any great leader understands that the “buck” stops with them. They run a tight ship and surround themselves with great people that are committed to the success of the business. Life happens, and when “the stuff really hits the fan” they look for the lessons and opportunities. They don’t point the finger at who or what they believe is to blame. They investigate and put robust plans in place to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Above all else, they remain accountable.

They Inspire people

The role of a leader is to lead, not to execute daily tactical tasks. Great leaders inspire others by being authentic, approachable, and trustworthy. They build relationships with their people and take a real interest in them. They do not hide in their offices, with a physically “opened door” that no body walks through. Leaders show love for their people by taking the time to learn about their major pain points and provide support where possible. They bring their people with them, metaphorically and literally.

They are solution focussed

Leaders who react quickly to a business environment that changes consistently do this because they are solution focused. Generally, leaders who focus on the problems only see the problems and waste a lot of time focusing on the thing that is broken. Effective leaders look to their people to quickly analyse what went wrong, derive the key learnings and move to creating solutions that will help them move on and grow through the experience.

They show it, not tell it

Dynamic leaders demonstrate their knowledge, intelligence, expertise and wisdom through their actions. They spend less time tooting their horn and more time connecting, educating, making decisions and creating results using their experience in a way that is sustainable.

They possess great emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is one of the key qualities super effective leaders possess. Truly conscious and self-aware leaders have done a lot of work to develop this trait. They are aware of their emotions at all times and understand how that might impact their behaviour. Crucially this awareness extends to being able to read the energy of others. This means they can interact with their people in a way that empowers them to take positive action.

Emotionally intelligent leaders have healthy egos, that come from a place of knowing and having. They have nothing to prove and so come across as being calm and relaxed. That said, they are not afraid to show vulnerability in appropriate situations. A leader in this space can be extremely powerful, and a rarity in the business world.

Bringing it all together

Powerful leaders are visibly present, care about their people on a sincere level and know their business extremely well. Their power is sustainable because it comes from genuine employee engagement and not from coercion. They communicate effectively and build deep connections, creating teams that will follow them anywhere and do whatever it takes to ensure that the firm’s vision for the present and indeed the future becomes a resounding success.