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3 key characteristics of effective leaders

Last updated on: December 20, 2012 18:53 IST

3 key characteristics of effective leaders


Brillian S K

Human resource professional and avid public speaker Brillian S K feels that a few leadership traits can be instilled in everyone and developed through self confidence.

We read about leaders on a daily basis.

Some of them are well known, some unsung. We are in awe of some and wish we could emulate their style of leadership.

If we were to analyse leaders, we would realise that a very thin line separates a good leader from a great leader.

I had the opportunity to work with some great leaders -- their styles varied from the servant leader, directive leader, and consultative leader.

While each style comes with its inherent limitations, there is not a single style that could be classified as the best. There are certain traits in every leader that makes them stand out.

My interactions and experiences have helped me come up with an ABC for being a successful leader. Though there are many other aspects, I personally love these.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Brillian S. K, is an avid Public Speaker and an HR Professional with experience in Education, IT & BFSI sectors. He can be reached on /


1. Assimilate synergies

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Leaders need not do different things, they do things differently.

Cliched as it may sound, as leaders, we need to bring together people who can help us achieve our goals, and we must collaborate.

With the right purpose, passion and perseverance we can capitalise on assimilating synergies.

We must look at utilising the skills of our counterparts and make them a part of our journey. Sounds foolish?

Working on the strengths of others is easier than striving to improve and overcome our weaknesses. As the president of a youth NGO, I have personally gained from assimilating synergies.

I admit it was initially difficult to come to terms with having my opponent being a part of my core team.

The Obama-Hillary collaboration is an excellent example of assimilating synergies.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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2. Believe, I can

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When R Kelly sang I Believe I Can Fly, he had no idea how much of an influence the song's lyrics would have on me.

We all need a paradigm shift in our attitudes towards life in general and ourselves and our beliefs in particular.

It is said that our attitude determines our altitude. Even when working in a team, be ready to be hands on.

There will be times when you need to roll up your sleeves, take control and steer the ship towards safer shores! It is easy to give up when we are low, but what matters is how long we sustain the pressure and overcome the hurdles.

The experience of having confidence in ourselves gives us that extra boost of energy.

Macedonian king Alexander the great, Apple founder Steve Jobs and British billionaire Richard Branson believed in their abilities and achieved their dreams in spite of the challenges and hurdles they faced.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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3. Constantly motivate

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Various surveys conducted over a period of time prove that a highly motivated team member is more likely to contribute positively towards the larger goal.

Motivating the team member is one of the keys to excellence.

A highly motivated team is more likely to support you in trying times.

Motivation may come in any form -- it is essential for the leader to understand and use it at the right time.

In the corporate world at every milestone, the leader gets all the praises and applause. It is difficult to acknowledge everyone -- the least we can do is acknowledge key contributors.

Timing is important and critical to sustain the team morale.

Give the team due credit for their contributions. Give them space and freedom, they would surely feel special.

Remember the old maxim: "people may not remember exactly what we did, or what we said, but they will always remember how we made them feel".

These are simple -- easy to implement steps that can help create a paradigm shift in your leadership style.

In a leadership role, we can make a great difference in people's lives.

We can be that special person who made a difference to someone. Come, lead in style!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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