4 characteristic of effective leaders

Good leaders are not always easy to spot, and sometimes good leadership takes a while to emerge.

During the Independent Sector (IS) conference in New York, Ellen S. Alberding, Patrick Ruffini and Michael Slaby of The Joyce Foundation offered a look at good leaders and the characteristics they have in common.

They said good leaders need the following character strengths:

  • Integrity. Leaders with integrity speak the truth, present themselves in a genuine way, are unfailing about who they are and what they stand for and take responsibility for their own feelings and actions.
  • Bravery. Leaders with bravery stand out on their own, act with valor by not shrinking form threat, challenge, difficulty or pain, exhibit moral courage by speaking up for what is right even when opposition exists and act upon conviction despite facing an unpopular environment.
  • Perspective. Leaders with perspective incorporate competitor and stakeholder views into a single organizational vision, pay attention and focus on the horizon of opportunities and challenges, understand the trends occurring in their sector and other industries that impact them and scan the environment around them in order to generate ideas and plan for the future.
  • Social Intelligence. Leaders with social intelligence are aware of their and others’ motives and feelings, have the agility to adapt their behavior to what the situation dictates, use their social intelligence to build alliances, manage conflict and conduct successful negotiations and demonstrate behavior flexibility and differentiation across roles that are unique to their place in the organization.