Six Ways to Identify an Effective Leader

Lori Cornmesser

Business Meeting

Anyone who has ever climbed their way up the corporate ladder has probably had at least one or two bad bosses. Holding an executive or management position does not necessarily mean that a person is a strong leader. So how does one tell a good boss from a bad one? That is just the question that the folks over at Business News Daily wanted to answer when they spoke to author and business leadership expert Sydney Finkelstein.

Finkelstein is a professor of management and the associate dean for executive education at the Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, as well as the author of two books on business leadership, “Think Again” and “Why Smart Executives Fail.” For Finkelstein, leadership is all about stamina, communication, and owning the responsibilities for being the boss. He states that the need for these qualities are key, and only increase the further up the corporate ladder one goes.

Strengthen your personality traits.

But a strong work ethic and knack for communication are only part of the equation. Finkelstein outlines six ways of identifying an effective leader. The first three could be defined as personality traits: self-awareness, open-mindedness, and intellectual honesty. It is these attributes that allow a person to accurately assess situations, formulate solutions, and understand his or her place in the implementation of those solutions.

Good leaders foster good relationships.

The next two identifiers for Finkelstein involve a leader’s relationship to their team. Developing talent and creating an environment where the impact of talent is felt are signs that a boss is properly employing their team’s strengths. Poor leaders fear individuals who may be smarter than they are, Finkelstein says, but smart leaders understand that their priority is not to protect their positions or their egos, but to make decisions that garner positive outcomes.

Delegate with authority.

Finally, Finkelstein emphasizes delegation. There is only so much one person can do, and knowing how and when to delegate is tantamount. Knowing and accepting limitations is essential to being a good boss, and an important part of building a strong adaptable team.

Head over to Business News Daily for the whole story, and Sydney Finkelstein’s list of the five worst CEOs.


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