Truly great leaders often have a wide range of useful skills and traits, but one that many people overlook is a keen understanding of the human mind. When an executive is able to understand the things that motivate people’s perceptions and actions in certain situations, they can adjust their management style accordingly. Here are a few traits that are important to understand for effective leadership.


By and large, our actions are motivated towards reward in the form of greater comfort, and away from discomfort. The problem here is that adversity and discomfort are more or less unavoidable in a company that’s evolving rapidly to reach its full potential. A lot of inexperienced business leaders will fail to balance discomfort and reward, as they don’t have a firm enough understanding of incentive. In many cases, they’re too focused on avoiding discomfort in the short-term, and try motivating the people they lead with shallow, superficial incentives, rather than trying to create a feeling that their work is meaningful and truly worth the effort.


No matter who you are, or where you work, you’re going to run into difficult situations here and there. An effective leader will know exactly how to deal with emotions that result from these, such as anxiety, in order to make the best decisions for their team. If you’re only able to exercise consistently good judgment when everything’s fine, then you can’t call yourself an effective leader yet. Fear and anxiety can be extremely overpowering in many business situations. Managing these emotions isn’t easy, yet essential if you really want to drive your team forward. One key trait that all great leaders exhibit is the ability to put the causes of fear and anxiety into context, and analyse them without getting their emotions involved.


Business is never static, so doubt is an unavoidable part of the package. Unfortunately, most of us don’t like change. One thing that separates humans from other primates is our excellent ability to predict the future, though not always accurately! The natural fear of the unknown we experience when planning can really get in the way of effective leadership. As a leader, you need to be able to manage doubts or uncertainties surrounding the future of a business, in a way that will instigate positive, progressive choices, rather than snap decisions made out of fear. In many cases, some degree of uncertainty and doubt can open your eyes to great new opportunities.

Contact Anthony Gregg Partnership today for more insight into psychology and effective leadership.

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