11 Qualities All Effective Leaders Must Possess

11 Qualities All Effective Leaders Possess

Posted November 25, 2015 by Caroline Whitney in Running a Business 101
Great leadership is at the core of every successful business.

Strong leadership is at the core of every successful business. Most leaders seem to have something in common: they each have a certain panache that drives their business forward and evokes admiration.  Maybe they’re great at relating to people, or perhaps they have completely innovative ideas.  

Founders of startups have a particularly tough road ahead of them; it takes a strong leader to move a startup forward. Make sure your best qualities stand out and use our 11 tips to become a great startup leader.

How do you ensure that you are the best leader you can be?  Leave your tips in the comments.

An Effective Leader Has...

... Good Communication Skills

Communication is key for an effective startup leader.  You need to be able to accurately and clearly convey your ideas, rules, and directions to your team.  

But also, good communication fosters an environment of open and candid communication.  It’s important that you give your team honest feedback so your company can move forward.  

Similarly, listen. Whether your employees have a suggestion, complaint, or are simply engaging in small talk with you - listen to them.   If your team feels like they can talk to you, they’ll be more engaged, and your company will be productive. Not to mention: they’ll like you better!

... A Sense Of Humor

Alright, so this one isn’t exactly something you can learn. Either you have a sense of humor, or you don’t.  However, you can make an effort to try and take things in stride.  Even if you aren’t that funny!  

If you can see the lighter side of things during a conflict, or you joke with employees in a friendly way, it’ll go a long way towards building morale with your followers.  It’ll help your team feel more relaxed as well.

... Thoughtfulness

Approach each new project thoughtfully. Think of your team, think of your priorities, think of your bandwidth.

We know you are excited about that new idea that you thought of in the middle of the night, but think it through before acting.  A good startup leader doesn’t just jump in head first, no matter how excited they may be. Instead, he or she has an idea, gathers the facts, analyzes the possible courses of action, and comes to the best decision as to next steps.  Don’t act before analyzing. Act smart.

... Honesty

Obviously, honesty is a good quality in any human being, not only a leader. However, it’s an essential quality for startup leaders because they have so many people looking up to them in a dynamic and uncertain environment.  If you’re straight with people, they’ll be straight with you.  

... An Openness To Building Relationships

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This is just another way of emphasizing the importance of networking, perhaps, but meeting new people, building relationships, and sharing thoughts and ideas will help you become a better startup leader.  

You’ll gain more knowledge in your field, and open yourself up to new opportunities.  You’ll be able to connect your colleagues to others you meet, and you’ll form a fantastic web of professionals around you.  You’ll foster relationships and help others develop professionally, which will make your startup that much stronger.

... A Positive Team Dynamic

Connect with your team on a personal level, where appropriate.  It will build morale if they feel connected to you and each other, but it will also help your team become more invested in your work.  If you feel connected to those you work with, you’ll feel more like a team.

... A Desire To Learn

Learn something new as often as possible.  Whether you learn about a new product related to your business at one of those networking events, or you browse your favorite publications each day, keeping up to date with what’s going on in your field will only benefit you- especially in your fast-paced startup world.  You’ll be knowledgeable and sharp, and more apt to thinking of new ideas.

... Graciousness

No one likes a stubborn boss. But someone who can admit when they’re wrong is someone worth admiring. No one is right all the time, and if your team sees that you can admit to mistakes, they’ll see you as a reasonable person. Be gracious when you're wrong. You've brought on a team for a reason. Trust them to help you come to the best business decisions.

... Persistence

Great leaders don’t become startup successes overnight! While you could take all of our advice to a T, building a great company under your fantastic leadership takes time and persistence.  Are things struggling to take flight? Are you hitting road blocks? Hang in there!  

... A Thick Skin

There will be times when you’ll be shot down, and it may cause you to question your ideas and leadership skills. You know the cliche “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”  It’s true.  Develop a thick skin and keep going. Don’t get down on yourself.  And also...

... Awareness of Failure

Easier said than done, right?  Well, we mean it.  It’s good to be cautious, but if you’re so afraid of failing that you don’t take risks, it’ll be to your detriment.  All great leaders take great risks.  So, know that you might fail.

And if you do, follow these four crucial steps to move past it.  Be fearless!

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.