Successful leadership styles are as diverse as there are leaders. What works for one person, with a particular group or organisation, may not work for another. That being said, there are some key characteristics which every leader possesses. These are what separate aspiring leaders from truly effective leaders. 

One key quality is self-assessment. A person with a truly effective leadership style is capable of assessing their strengths and their weaknesses. Knowing your weaknesses do not make you weak – all it does is make you better able to delegate tasks to form a more effective team, as well as identifying areas for personal growth. A true leader never stops trying to become more effective, and one of the best ways to do that is to continually self-assess.

Similarly, it is vital for effective leaders to have a sharp perception of others, and not only themselves. Using an open and honest communication style allows for feedback and further improvement. A great leader can ask for opinions and advice of staff, an effort they will appreciate. This helps foster a more communicative workplace environment as well, paramount to helping a leader succeed. Understanding what motivates an individual or causes them to act in positive or negative ways in certain situations allows leaders to shift their management styles to best address the issue at hand.

Team building is another crucial skill for any leader. Being able to identify strong and weak areas of individuals in order to craft the most efficient team for a task reflects well on a leader; similarly, a poor and dysfunctional team is a sign of bad leadership. Inspiring others by example and guidance to success is a keystone of good leadership and can make or break a team.

The vision for the future is necessary for the repertoire of any effective leadership style. The ability to positively influence others around you and leverage that to effect real and lasting change drives any successful leader. A zest for change and the drive to cause it gathers other people with passion, creativity and positivity around successful leaders, resulting in powerful and effective outcomes.

In conclusion, an effective leader is in tune with themselves, their team and their environment, and has the drive to motivate a team to the highest point of their abilities. Successful leadership may not always look the same, but it is always driven by the same key qualities of an individual.

Leaders by thinkpublic licensed under Creative commons 6