In modern business culture, teams have no patience for the “I’m the boss — do what I say” egocentric leadership styles of the past. They also don’t respond to them. Not positively, anyway. Rather, successful leaders within organizations of all industries are breaking with outdated traditions and toxic habits, to take forward action in creating sustainable, team cultivated growth. We’ve curated a top ten list including the skills, ideas, and practices that will make you the effective leader your team appreciates, and the asset your organization needs.

Vision and Strategy

Present clear goals and a clear mission. After all, teams look to their leaders for direction and guidance. Then, follow through. Implementing and evaluating the planning process and the steps towards reaching the goals, is the way to the win.

Interpersonal Skills

When people feel safe with you, they are far more likely to take direction from you. In order to effectively implement and achieve goals, you’ve got to communicate in a way that is presented with empathy and intention. Whether the mission and goals are communicated via memo or meeting, make sure your words are specific, easy to comprehend, organized and motivational. Many failed leaders forget about the TONE behind the words. Think about words as positive tools, and know that you won’t receive positive results by using negative language.

Problem Solving

Effective leaders create strong networks and alliances. After all, no man is an island. Also, make certain you have the proper tools and resources available to you, to do the job. This is important to your process, as understanding and appropriately applying required procedures around regulations and policies which apply, will lend you the specialized expertise required to properly address the problem.

Leading People

Once you’ve established the trust of your team, you must lead daily. The workplace is basically a functioning habitat for a group of humans who are trying to produce results as a group (collective unit), while simultaneously trying to survive and advance themselves individually. If their leader does not seem sincere in her/his general interest in them, the workplace will not function at its maximum capabilities. Having genuine concern for the team’s wellness begins with recognizing that all time spent working should be fairly compensated. No employee should dedicate so much time to the job as to neglect life outside of the workplace. This condition causes stress and leads to bitterness — which has no place in a cohesive, well led team.

Team Building

Most people work better when they are not isolated. Encourage cooperation within the organization — maybe even make it a mandatory exercise just for morale building. Also, assigning coaches and mentors to less experienced individuals is a way to recognize star employees and a way to ease the transition adequately for the newbies. These two practices will influence others toward a spirit of service and meaningful contributions towards the overall mission. Another major component in team building is recognizing and rewarding positive performance. Devising a deliberate, well organized positive reinforcement system will enable you to create an organizational culture which encourages quality service and high performance if you regularly provide positive reinforcement.


 Welcome all opinions and ideas, rather than shutting them down. Employees should be able to contribute their input into the decision-making process. A good leader will recognize individual strengths among the people in the organization, and delegate tasks according to those strengths. Untapped, underutilized talent is a place for frustration and even subversion. To avoid creating an apathetic workforce culture, provide avenues for employees to have individual successes and recognitions through meaningful contributions.

Professional Development

Opportunities to learn, grow, and advance should always be available within your organization. Rather than issuing punitive measures for mistakes, use them as portals to discovery. As we all know, humans leverage mistakes as learning lessons, so take the mistake and turn it into a workshop, or at least a brainstorming session. It’s also important to enable your team to help you improve. As you are the judge of other peoples’ performances, let them be the judge of yours. Ask for feedback about the job you are doing. If the employee’s don’t get a chance to express this in an upfront manner, the will do it in a more underhanded way, rest assured. However, don’t ask for feedback unless you plan to have an open mind about changing, if need be.

Leading Change

Effective leaders harness the talents of others by providing them with a platform to exercise their creativity and innovation. When a true leader is present during the decision making process, he or she will describe and suggest new ways of looking at the old issues. If that happens to involve a degree of risk-taking, then so be it. It will be well worth it when the individual passions and special talents of your group arise.

High Trust

When you’ve listened to the feedback and made the adjustments suggested by your stakeholders, you should have earned a degree of trust within your organization. By encouraging opposing viewpoints, demonstrating high ethical standards, and creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, you achieve cutting-edge leadership skills.

Results Focused

Since it’s important to be able to measure success and attainments, leaders must have purposeful and effective meetings to scan and measure results. Once progress is being made on the overall mission and the individual goals within it, the leader must make sure that progress is continuous and that the individuals on the team are making headway. Leadership is constant and deliberate. Anything less with guarantee outcomes that vacillate between sub par productivity and absolute chaos — which is exactly what you don’t want.

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