Characteristics of an Effective Leader

Topics: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory Pages: 7 (2292 words) Published: March 31, 2011
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Characteristics of an Effective Leader

In today’s business world it is very important to have effective leadership. It is their responsibility to guide followers so that work is done properly and efficiently. In most organizations today, managers have not been trained properly in managing which leads to many productivity problems. It is this lack of training from leadership that causes businesses to fail. In this research paper I will discuss the characteristics of an effective leader and their responsibilities. I will discuss how trust, motivation, communication and building trust are important for every leader.

The topic of leadership has never lost its value to organizations. Today, it assumes special importance because of swift changes increasing the need for leaders that are capable of coping with a continuous stream of challenges. Leadership can be defined as the power or skill of an individual to lead others towards the attainment of a goal. It includes directing and influencing others towards the completion of stated regular objectives and involves being responsible and accountable for the entire group. According to Satterlee (2009), one of the main functions of a leader is to address the issues of change and how to cope with these changes. This can be done by using a leaders' influence to convince followers that their way is the way to go. Accordingly, leadership is the art of and method of influencing followers of organized groups so they will strive to willingly do what the leader wants them to do (Pulley, Sessa & Malloy, 2002) A leader not only has the passion to work but also has the passion to work with confidence. Therefore in order to be an effective leader the leader must possess the basic characteristics of an effective leader in order to carry out tasks efficiently. When these characteristics are used correctly they will enhance effective management in organizations (Maxwell, 2007). Effective leaders have an optimistic effect on their organization’s business and customs through their skillful leading style to promote major changes. An effective leader is very aware and very knowledgeable in leadership practices and concepts. An effective leader honors their followers, gives them credit for their hard work, learns from the errors and mistakes of others and tries to promote change and to overcome the situation. They never make fun of or ridicule their follows and they try to develop a positive atmosphere in which everyone can work in a collaborative manner. This paper will define and determine the characteristics of an effective leader (Maxwell, 2007). What is leadership?

In determining the characteristics of an effective leader, it is essential to first be aware of how a leader needs to perform. A leader communicates directly with individuals, creates and maintains relationships with them, inspires and motivates them to carry out the organizations objectives. Leadership is the skill to raise the group’s performance in line with the objectives of the organization. Leadership and motivation are strongly interrelated. An effective leader has a better understanding of what individuals in the organization want and need if they know how to motivate them (Satterlee, 2009). According to John Kotter (1996): “Good leaders produce important, positive change by the providing vision, aligning people’s efforts with the organization’s direction, and keeping people focused on the mission and vision by motivating the inspiring them. Good leadership, like good management, helps an organization to succeed”. According to John C. Burkhart (1999) “leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs to the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.” An effective leader completes this process by using their leadership characteristics. Characteristics of an...

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