Impact CulturePurpose Hacks

How to be an effective leader

Four Elements to Effective Leadership

Effective leadership is a competitive advantage to organizations. Organizations with effective leaders often see higher employee engagement, satisfaction and lower employee turnover.

As an Executive Coach, I’m often asked what traits I believe are important for effective leadership and although there are many important elements to leadership, here are what I consider the top four:

1. Build Trust:

As a leader, it is important that you build trust with your team. Trust has to be earned rather than something that you get just because you are the boss.

If you think back to the leaders you have worked for, consider who have you trusted and why? Likely they were good at communication, competent in their own right, and could roll up their sleeves when needed.

A trusted leader is there for you to celebrate in the good times and catch you if you fall. Effective leaders also build trust by recognizing and removing obstacles to getting work done.

2. Develop the Team:

I often see leaders concentrating their development efforts on the highest performers. However, the most effective leaders understand that it’s important to also look at how you can develop everyone on your team.

Great leaders evaluate what development opportunities are available to elevate the entire team’s performance. They recognize that solid and steady employees may not move up two or three levels but know their growth will benefit the greater team and organization.

3. Show Appreciation:

When we work for a leader who appreciates what we do in our role, we tend to work harder and show more dedication. Showing appreciation as a leader can be as simple as a thank you or recognition at an employee meeting. A little appreciation goes a long way! When your employees feel appreciated they’re able to do their best work which translates into greater client satisfaction.

4. Listen Actively:

In this day and age we tend to always be on the move. We are meeting over Skype, phone, or in coffee shops. There are more distractions than ever invading our conversations. Effective leaders are great at minimizing the distractions and focus on active listening. To be an effective leader put away your devices and show that you are listening by engaging in the discussion.


This article on how to be an effective leader was written by Kathy Lockwood.

Kathy Lockwood is an Executive Coach and Founder of Blue Water Leadership Coaching. Kathy’s previous experience as an HR Executive has contributed to her effectiveness in her coaching career.  She loves bringing the best out in people and has a passion for helping people achieve more than they thought was possible. Kathy’s sweet spot is to coach women who need help finding their voice at the leadership table and who need to work on their confidence. She enjoys helping women reach their full potential.


Twitter: @BluewaterKathy


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Kathy Lockwood

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