12 Personal Attributes of Effective Leaders

If you have decided to launch your own startup company, you are probably excited and nervous all at the same time. Not only are you responsible for ensuring that your product or service delivers what you promise, but you also have to manage your team in an effective way so you don’t become the notorious bad boss.


Being a competent CEO who can lead your team into the black is going to require you to hone many skills so you can foster teamwork and communication.
The first key area that you want to look at is the area of Personal Attributes. This consists of knowledge, expertise, and competencies encapsulated in the approach and behavior of a leader. In organizations of all types and sizes both public and private, these characteristics are essential to effective leadership and sales management.

The necessary & essential personal attributes are as follows:

1. Code of Ethics

Learn more about the ethical issues and concerns that affect your business sector. Then adopt a balanced, open-minded approach to the ethical concerns of others. Consider the ethical issues and implications of all personal actions and organizational activity. Raise and discuss the ethical issues before proposing or agreeing to decisions. Resist the pressures from the organization or its partners to accomplish objectives in unethical ways.

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2. Think Strategically

Learn and understand how the different functions, physical divisions, and layers of the organization should work together. If you pay attention to some of the CEO’s of the

biggest organizations, you will see that they take the time to understand the complexities of and the changes happening in the external environment. Consider how the organization can respond to these the best.

Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and the opportunities and threats that are facing it. Understand how the strategic objectives are influenced by all the current and forecasted influences that will impact on the organization. Understand that the operational objectives and targets must be in line with and support the strategic objectives of the organization. Be aware of and respond to the behavior of current and potential competitors.

3. Support Corporate Goals

Effective leaders help to create and communicate a unique vision that can be understood and supported by people at all levels. Help others to understand and contribute to the strategic goals, giving visible personal support to the strategic direction and specific goals set by the organization.

4. Good Communication

Be very responsive to communication, messages, and signals given from the internal and external environments. Make effective use of communication channels between all levels within the organization to pro-actively encourage the exchange of information within the organization. Include suppliers, customers, partners, and those with opposing views to select personal communication styles that are appropriate to the different situations and audiences.

5. Be Inspirational

Good leaders are individuals who know how to find ways to get the most from their employees by inspiring and motivating them. If you have ever listened to one of the leading motivational speakers, you will see that they are able to draw from their experience and tell powerful stories that invigorate audiences. Many organizations hire motivational speakers because they need someone who can create a spark in their organization that will light a fire under them to push through difficult times. But the truth is that the leaders of these organizations should develop these skills themselves.

6. Aggregate Good Information

Establish multiple channels and networks which generate a constant flow of information. Choose from both within and outside the organization and then regularly and consistently gather, analyze, challenge, and use the information gathered.

7. Make Sound Decisions

Establish a consistent means to the analysis of information. Then draw on personal experience as well as knowledge to identify current and potential problems. Then consider a wide range of solutions before selecting the final one to ensure that the selected decision is realistic, achievable, and affordable. Then be sure to consider the impact of the decision on all stakeholders and at all levels before approving implementation.

8. Build Effective Teams

Appreciate the contributions of all at all levels in the organization. Ensure that the individuals and groups are kept in the loop of plans, developments, and concerns that will affect them. Ensure that all individual and team development schemes are given the appropriate priority when it comes to providing personal support for the implementation and maintenance of development activities for individuals and teams at all levels.

9. Behave Assertively

Understand and respond to the personal roles and responsibilities of the people involved. Adopt a leading role in the initiating action and decision making pieces. Take personal responsibility for decisions and actions, being properly prepared for the involvement in activities and events. Be confident and professional in dealing with change and challenges. Refuse unreasonable demands to defend and protect individuals and groups from unfair actions. Remember to remain professional in a manner at all times.

10. Focus On Results

Contribute to the establishment of an organizational culture that demands the highest standards and highest levels of performance. Focus on hitting objectives and planned outcomes at all times. Deal with issues and problems as soon as they arise. Plan and schedule the personal work and the work of others in ways that make the best use of available resources. Delegate appropriately to give personal attention to the critical issues and events.

11. Manage Yourself

Reflect regularly on your own personal performance and progress. By pro-actively asking for feedback on the personal performance you can change your personal behavior in the light of feedback received. Be responsible for your own personal development needs on an on-going basis.

12. Present a Positive Image

Adopt a leading role in the initiation of action and decision making. Behave in a professional manner at all times no matter what. Be open-minded and very responsive to the needs of all others around you. Visibly work towards your personal and career development goals and adopt an ethical approach to all personal and organizational activity. Be very supportive to your colleagues and be sure to demonstrate fairness as well as integrity at all times.


These many characteristics, as well as attributes, are difficult to maintain consistently all at the same time but they are the attributes needed by, and expected of, in all of our leaders especially in business. The size of the organization or business sector is not significant. The leaders of all organizations should be role models for others:

• Be visible leaders as well as champions of high standards of professional and ethical behaviors
• Be leaders who others within their organizations can be proud of
• Be leaders that competitors are jealous of and are willing to spend a lot of money for.

Most of these characteristics are born in our leaders by default. They have to be learned, they have to be practiced, they have to be studied, and should then be continuously developed and enhanced. With these personal attributes in place, and being demonstrated in behavior and actions, business leaders will be much more effective and much more successful.

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