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7 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders In The 21st Century

7 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders In The 21st Century

Whether you believe it or not, it takes more than just hard work to become a successful leader. The best leaders in the world, are able to use their passion to drive an organization. Your passion should absolutely be a part of who you are as a leader, but you should lead with your head as well as your heart.

People already know the more common leadership traits. Leaders have a guiding vision, are passionate and possess integrity. There are also plenty of other leadership traits, including some traits that were once thought of as being weaknesses.

You can grow and develop these traits to become a better leader and further your career; whether at home, at work, in your community or in your overall life.

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Effective Leaders are Empathic

Empathy is simply the ability to understand how people feel and also share in those feelings. Empathy is important in a workplace, because it allows you handle relationships and manage conflicts. Empathy is also important because it allows you to connect with your customers and understand them.

People don’t like to be analyzed; they want to be understood. Being empathic means a leader functions better within the business and can also use their empathy to drive the business.

Effective Leaders are Optimistic

When people think of optimism they think of hopefulness. Optimism is also the ability to have confidence that you will succeed. It’s not good to be blindly optimistic and believe everything will succeed with no basis, but optimism gives leaders the power to inspire employees and drive them forward.

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Effective Leaders Forgive

No one likes it when their boss refuses to let their mistakes go. You need to give your employees the chance to make risks and let them know that you won’t hold their mistakes against them. Not forgiving your employees when they make mistakes, kills their creativity and motivation.

It also stops them from presenting new ideas in case something goes wrong. You need to forgive mistakes and nurture the creativity of your team, so that you can inspire them to come back with new ideas and stay motivated.

Effective Leaders are Altruistic

Being altruistic means you care about other people and their success. In business this means that you want people you work with to do better, feel better and perform better. No man (or woman) is an island and you should avoid stealing all the credit.

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Altruistic people understand that everyone looks better, when everyone looks good. Altruism is a vital leadership quality, but not something that people would typically associate with success.

Effective Leaders are Eloquent

Eloquence, or the ability to write and speak in a persuasive manner, has become more important than ever in the digital age. Leaders should be able to communicate effectively and make the kinds of speeches that close deals.

Writing an eloquent memo can squash negative emotions, such as fear and dissent and inspire people to go above and beyond their limits. Take time to practice your writing and speaking to improve your eloquence and be the kind of effective leader you know you are.

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Effective Leaders are Discerning

Being discerning means that you are able to better judge things; whether it be a person, a situation or a business decision. Discerning people take the time to understand problems and come up with various solutions, until they manage to put together one that works best for everyone.

Discerning leaders take time to think about their options and avoid rushing headfirst into everything that comes their way.

Effective Leaders are Modest

People get tired of hearing you talk about how great you are. Truly great people let their work do the talking for them. It’s fine to toot your own horn a little, but don’t be the person who does it the loudest. It’s great to be confident, but it’s better to be able to temper that confidence with modesty.

The above traits are important tools for entrepreneurs and leaders who have the dedication to learn and perfect them.

Featured photo credit: Stockunlimited via Stockunlimited.com

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Andreas Jones

Business Growth Strategist, Consultant and Coach.

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Last Updated on October 28, 2020

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

SMART goals are a simple, logical way to organize your goals as you set them throughout life. Not only does this technique help you identify reachable goals, but it helps break down goals into smaller and more manageable pieces.

However, there is one crucial element (or letter) that is missing from this acronym. This missing letter can potentially make it harder for you to reach your goal – no matter how well you have broken down your goal into different pieces and action steps. However, once you understand this missing piece, you’ll be able to use it to move forward with your goals.

What Are Smart Goals?

If you are not familiar with the SMART goal setting technique and what the acronym means, here is a brief rundown with a simple example:

  • S = Specific — Your goal has to be specific enough (“I want to lose 4 inches off my waist”).
  • M = Measurable — You can measure your waistline every week to keep track of your progress.
  • A = Achievable — Do you think that you can do this? Or are you going too far by getting rid of yet another 4 inches? Or should you expand the goal to 5 inches; is that within reach?
  • R = Realistic — Is your lifestyle stable enough that you can commit to this goal?  Are you mentally prepared to do this? Do you have the resources you need for this goal?
  • T = Time-framed — You could want to achieve this goal within a week or within six months, but it should have a specific time frame.

As you can see, when you break down your goals like this, they become much more manageable and concrete than just saying “I want to to be slimmer.”

All fine and well, except that there is a crucial letter missing in this package – another letter “A.”

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The Missing Letter

The other letter “A” stands for accountability, and this is a great way to make sure that your defined plan is actually executed and is not left just on the talking or planning level. Even if you have crafted a masterful plan by using the SMART goal technique, it becomes useless if you don’t actually execute it. To make sure you start the execution phase, you want to throw some accountability into the mix.

By having some external pressure on your back (in the form of accountability), you are more likely to take action on your goal steps than if you just keep the plan to yourself. Accountability is based on the fact that you want to stand behind your words and save face. When you announce your goal to the world, you realize that the world is now watching you, and you don’t want to let the world down.

Accountability is also about facing the expectations of others. If you announce a goal or a task in public, other people are expecting you will achieve the tasks and goals you have laid out for yourself.

Watch this video and find out how by having dependable accountability, you can reach your goal more efficiently:

Ways to Implement the Letter “A” in Your Goal

There are plenty of ways you can go about creating accountability. Choose which one will work to motivate you the most.

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1. Keep It to Yourself

I was a bit hesitant to include this, since in this scenario you are not telling others about your plans or tasks. However, for some people this might work since your conscience is your accountability partner in this situation. And you don’t want to let your conscience down.

2. Announce It to Other People

Your people could be your colleagues at work, your local golf club buddies, the subscribers and readers of your blog, or your Twitter followers. I would say that accountability is more effective when dealing with “offline people.” Being accountable face-to-face to someone is very effective.

I’m in no way underestimating the power of “online people” either. If you are trying to form solid relationships with others online, you want to keep your word – even if you don’t necessarily meet the people in the same sense as in the offline world.

3. Find an Accountability Partner

A more intimate way of being accountable is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend or spouse, but it needs to be someone you feel comfortable reporting to. When this route is chosen, you might decide to call your partner on a frequent basis to tell them how well you are progressing on the goal.

4. Get on Stickk.com

If none of the above ways work for you, it’s time to put Stickk into play.

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Stickk.com is a website where you can announce your goal (“Commitment Contract”), and to make you even more committed to reaching that goal, there is money at stake. Money is not mandatory to get set up with Stickk, but knowing that you will lose a certain amount of money if you don’t reach your goal can give you an extra push to get stuff done.

5. Join Mastermind Groups

A mastermind group is a group of like-minded people gathering on a frequent basis (online or offline), trying to push each other closer to their goals. This type of accountability is very common in the business world. When you are in a mastermind group and you have set the objectives you want to achieve by the next meeting, you want to get stuff done and fulfill other’s expectations.

Mastermind groups are a great way to improve your productivity and reach your goals with the help of others.

6. Hire a Coach

If you really want to get personal attention for your goals, then hiring a personal coach may be the best way to stay accountable.

Not only are you accountable to your coach, but you also have to pay for his/her attention. This makes the coach option even more effective. You want to make sure you do everything you can to get the assignments done before the deadline you two have set. So, there is a money factor to keep you accountable as well. Since you want to quickly move forward, this option is a very effective for staying accountable with your SMART goals.

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The Bottom Line

Next time, set your goal using “SMARTA,” instead. Add that letter “A” to the SMART goal setting technique:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-framed, Accountable.

The accountability factor of reaching your goals may be just the thing you need to make them a reality.

More Tips on SMART Goals

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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