What makes an effective leader? While there is still debate about whether a leader is born or made, many of a good leader's skills are developed and honed over time.
A leader's role is always to ensure his or her team achieves the task in hand, but an effective leader will also ensure they meet more subtle requirements:
Strong focus on the goals in hand. A strong goal orientation is one of the key skills expected of effective leaders.
Integrity. Team members are motivated by a leader who has clear, rigid values and principles about their work and people, which they stick to during their day-to-day activity.
Good engagement with others. A good leader will make time to influence, give feedback to, actively listen to, an mentor his or her team while ensuring their positive attitudes. This is a particularly valuable skill in times of adversity or pressure.
Looking at the bigger picture. Effective leaders can see further than the immediate problem or situation, putting issues into perspective and context. This is often accompanied by a developed capacity to generate a far greater range of potential solutions.
Resourcefulness. Leaders should be able to find a way to come up with new solutions to problems. It is also essential to be able to generate energy and inspiration to spark new ideas and answers.
Organisational clout. Leaders must influence and mange upwards as well as the team involved.
Effective communications. Good leaders put thought into how, with whom, and when information is discussed.