Leadership is a highly discussed topic, with many good books published each year on the subject. But for those who don't have time to read all those leadership books we've identified six of the top qualities you should strive to cultivate if you want to be a good and effective leader.
1. Effective leaders listen more than they speak. Leadership is not about making great speeches or
telling everyone else how to get the work done. A great leader spends much of his or her time listening to others in an attempt to better understand both the situation at hand and the people involved.
2. Effective leaders praise others instead of themselves. A good leader knows that others are the key to success and praises the members of his team rather than making himself look good. An effective leader is humble and doesn't waste time trying to impress others by constantly promoting his own "individual" successes. Very few successes are "individual."
3. Effective leaders take responsibility instead of passing blame. When things go wrong, as they inevitably will, great leaders take responsibility and acknowledge the mistakes rather than blaming them on others.
4. Effective leaders serve others. Leaders who focus on others, on the team, and work to serve the needs of the team and of customers will generate greater trust and respect. Leadership is about serving others and serving well.
5. Effective leaders lead by example. A good leader knows that she must do the hard work and not simply expect or demand others to work hard. Effective leaders work hard, demonstrate appropriate work-life balance, and show the appropriate way to communicate and treat clients, co-workers, and customers.
6. Effective leaders never stop learning. A great leader understands that he does not possess all knowledge and continues to learn. He or she is curious about the world and about others and strives to continue to learn more about being a better person and a more effective leader.