What qualities make a great leader? It’s not an easy question to attempt to answer. Plus, different leadership styles can work best in different situations. But a study by McKinsey & Co. sheds some light on a handful of core qualities that are extremely important to effective leadership. The study, which encompassed 189,000 people in 81 companies and organizations, found that the most effective leaders:
Are supportive. This quality sounds easy, but in reality can be hard to get right. Supportive leaders understand and are sincerely interested in those around them. They are authentic. As a result, they often have the trust and respect of their teams. Their employees are motivated to work for them. They help solve conflict within their organizations and help employees overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Operate with strong results orientation. It’s important to have vision, but the study suggests that vision isn’t enough without a strong dedication to achieving results. Effective leaders are clear on the results their companies are striving for and make sure their employees understand the highest priorities at any given time.
Seek different perspectives. How well do you take into account multiple perspectives before making a decision? How well do you weed out things that shouldn’t be considered, such as office politics? Effective leadership involves evaluating multiple points of view and making sound, unbiased decisions.
Solve problems effectively. Gathering information, reviewing it and making a quality decision isn’t easy, but it’s the hallmark of effective leadership.