What makes a leader effective? Our world as we know it cannot run without leadership. From presidents and prime ministers to teachers and parents, we are always under the leadership of others, and often lead others ourselves as well. For such a fundamental concept in current society, it is surprising that many do not know what makes a leader effective. First of all, leaders need to be capable people. They usually have some sort of education in the area they are leading in, as well as talent or a skillset in that area. Often, what sets leaders apart is there experience.
These factors all contribute to how capable a leader can be, and how effective they are in their role. Furthermore, attitude is very important in an effective leader. You can only lead for so long with brute force and tyranny before someone takes over. Good leaders cause others to want to follow them willingly. Effective leaders need to know how to follow, and how to listen to other’s opinion. As a role model, they must have the best attitude. Finally, an effective leader has influence over decisions and will have authority without using excessive power.
Effective leadership can influence society in a positive way. Think of all the world leaders right now. Just to name a few: Obama, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, and David Cameron. All of these leaders had to go through education to get to where they are. Education is critical to how the next generation will think and act in society, including those who will become leaders. Without education, there would be no innovative ideas to drive technology further, and jobs could not be performed nearly as well.
Leaders would lack the knowledge and understanding needed to understand issues at hand. The most effective leaders not only have a good education, but have talent in the area. Specific skills should match the role leaders are filling, so that they have a strong background to lead others. If we think a little smaller about the leaders we interact with every day, such as our parents, what sets them apart from us is their experience. Experiences, positive or negative, teach us valuable life lessons that can shape our identity, and how we lead.
The more experiences someone has had in the past, the greater chance that they will know what to do in a tough situation presently. To conclude, education, talent and experience make capable and effective leaders. If you go to a job interview, they are always watching your attitude. Attitude does not just affect if you get a job or not, but also affects if a leader is effective or not. For example, some say that Hitler was an effective leader, because of all the Nazis that followed him, and his accomplishments of fulfilling his plans.
However, looking at history it can be seen that Hitler and his Nazis were eventually defeated, and that there were many who were displeased with his leadership. Tyranny and brutality can only work for so long on any group of people, before there is an uprising as the majority overtakes the dictator. To be an effective leader, one needs to be able to listen to others. The most effective leaders are the best followers. No human can do everything alone, without support from others. It makes sense then that leaders should also need help and support from others, to make sound decisions.
Additionally, leaders are seen as role models, so their attitude will rub off onto others. In a workplace environment, effective managers will have effective employees. Attitude is everything in making effective leaders. Great leaders have great influence. There are two ways it can go when a leader has power: they can use it to uplift society and to have a positive impact, or they can be corrupted and use it to lead unfairly. The more willing others are to listen to a leader, the more power that leader will have.
Even the people that effective leaders do not directly interact with will be inspired by their actions and words. That is the reason why young children often desire to be the president of a country. They are inspired by what that leader is doing for their country. One example is Nellie McClung. She fought for women’s rights to be included in the constitution along with the others of the great five. The reason why they succeeded in changing the law was because they inspired many women along the way to support their cause.
She gained enough power that she could have influence on the government to change the constitution. Throughout history we see many other instances when someone has risen to power by gaining influence to change fundamental ideas that they thought were wrong. As students, we often learn about these historical figures, showing that all these years past, decades or even centuries, great and effective leaders still carry the legacy and influence they had when they were alive.
In conclusions, what makes an effective leader is their capability, attitude and influence over others. Capability often comes from education, talent and past experience. Without capability, leaders do not know or understand the specific needs their group has. Their credibility and trustworthiness goes down as well. Another important aspect is their attitude. As said above, attitude affects how willing people are to listen to you. Effective leaders are a strong role model to those around them, and their attitude allows them to have power without becoming proud or corrupt.
Finally, how much influence a leader has over others is an indicator of the effectiveness of their leadership. The greater influence a leader may have, the more effective they will be. How do they gain influence? That leads back to the other two points of capability and attitude. Many leaders are only strong in one area of the three, some may be very capable but have a great attitude, or have a great attitude but no capability. Altogether, capability, attitude and influence is what makes the most effective leader.