Some people think being a leader is easy. That it’s all about making more money and having power.

But being an effective leader isn’t easy – it’s actually extremely difficult.

Consider your own experiences with leaders. What did they do? How did they make you feel? Chances are some of them created positive, productive environments and others created stressful environments.

If you want to become a leader yourself, here are 7 traits of highly effective leaders to help you get started.

1. Visibility

When you’re a leader you shouldn’t stay hidden away in your castle. Your team should be able to see and hear you. They should know that you’re around and you understand what’s going on.

But this goes both ways. It’s important that your team feels visible also.

You should be able to make each person on your team feel important – both to you and your mission. That way everyone knows their role and stays productive.

2. Inclusivity

It’s critical to include everyone on your team. This means that you don’t play favorites or leave anyone out of important meetings.

Each person needs to feel like they’re a part of the process – because they are!

When anyone feels left out and unimportant, they’re more likely to lose motivation and become a weak link. Remember, each person on your team is your responsibility. So it’s important that you’re able to keep your team driven.

3. Availability

Being in a leadership position gets pretty busy. But highly effective leaders find balance.

Balancing your responsibilities keeps you accessible for when members of your team need you. Again, you can’t shut yourself away in your castle and ghost people when they need your help. You need to make time for your team so that you can help them succeed.

4. Intentionality

Highly effective leaders don’t go with the flow and hope for the best. They’re intentional.

As a leader, you must have a plan to get the results you need.

Intentionality also means investing in each person you manage. It means that you’ve taken the time to understand how to inspire them to perform their best. You’re more likely to lead your team to success when you’re thoughtful and attentive about your actions.

5. Accountability

Highly effective leaders understand that they’re responsible for whatever their team does and doesn’t do. So make sure you’re prepared to hold yourself accountable.

Selfish leaders pass the blame. Effective leaders take the heat and pass the praise.

You don’t want to be the type of leader who blames others and takes all the credit for a job well done. Sincerely praise your team for their hard work and accomplishments. And when things go wrong, remember that it’s your responsibility to make sure things go right.

6. Honesty

Effective communication is crucial to effective leadership. You can’t avoid confronting someone because you’re afraid to upset them.

As a leader, having clear, direct communication with your team is key. You need to be willing to be vulnerable and share what you really feel.

This doesn’t mean being rude or judgmental. This means communicating what you need to get your team to the next level. And if you’ve taken the time to understand your team, you’ll know how to communicate effectively with each person.

7. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.1

To be a highly effective leader, you need to have and show empathy for your team. You need to relate to them and show that you care about their situation.

For example, leaders who’ve lacked empathy during the pandemic likely have some unhappy people under them. Everyone has personal lives and concerns that can affect their work. Leaders should be willing to understand people’s fears and obstacles. This gives them a better chance of building a positive team environment – and getting the results they need.

Building Your Team

By now you’ve seen the great responsibility you hold being in a leadership position. Leadership isn’t about having control and power. It’s about building your team.

I like to use the analogy of climbing a rope in gym class. When you’re climbing a rope, you always have one hand up and one hand down.

That’s what it’s like to be an effective leader.

If you’re a highly effective leader, you’re always pulling people up with you. That’s because good leaders build other leaders.

When you focus on building others individually, you’re going to get growth as a group.

If you want more personal guidance, don’t hesitate to book a coaching session with me. I’ll be happy to work with you through any business or personal challenges you’re facing.