Effective Leadership: 8 Traits That Require Constant Development

As a manager, it is vital to be an effective leader. What this means can change from manager to manager and depend on the people they are managing. Some of the essentials remain the same, however. You should be able to inspire and motivate your team, be approachable, empower your employees and know how to make tough decisions.  

Some of these qualities may not come naturally to everyone, so it is so important to work on your professional development continuously. Here are some of the crucial traits that good managers possess and ways to develop them as you progress through your career.  


Having a vision for the future of your company and team is vital for anyone in a managerial role. It is equally important to be able to share that vision effectively with your team. It can help to regularly review the goals you have in mind for the company, yourself and your team. Working with the bigger picture in mind is crucial.  


Being passionate about your work is an excellent way to inspire your team and encourage their own passions. This, in turn, can do wonders for your business’s success. While it might be challenging to get passionate about every small element of your role, passion for the overall objective of your company is crucial. If you find yourself struggling to find your passion in your current position, it may be time to move on or have some discussions with higher management.  

Decision Making 

Good decision making skills are essential for any manager. You will often find yourself faced with challenging choices and having to make decisions that may not be popular. It is crucial to weigh up your options when making challenging decisions and take into consideration the advice and opinions of those it will impact.  

When you have made a decision, it is essential to remain resolute, even if it is not a popular one. Provided you have given the decision adequate thought with regard to the potential consequences, you should always follow through with the decisions you make. This shows good leadership and inspires confidence from your team.  


Communication skills are one of the most critical but also most challenging skills a manager needs. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with people of all ages, backgrounds and experience and ensure that they feel heard and understood. As the manager, it is crucial for you to understand what is happening in the office at all times, and open communication is key to this. 

If you struggle with communication at work, it may help to take a communication course that focuses on skills and effectiveness. Technique and plenty of practice are essential to developing and honing any skill.  

Identifying Talent 

It is essential to be able to identify team members with potential. You could do this by taking time regularly to assess your team and see if any stand out. You could do this in one-to-one meetings or by looking at completed work or projects. You could also give promising team members additional responsibility to see how they manage it.  

It is important to ensure that you give your team members enough work to keep them motivated and inspired at work. This helps prevent boredom and encourages the best to rise.  

Role Model 

As a manager, your team will look to you as an example of how to behave around the office. Therefore, it is vital that you act in a way that you would expect each member of your team to act as well. This can mean ensuring you are always punctual, smartly dressed, and passionate about your work, as mentioned above. It is also important to ensure your team sticks to their proper working hours to avoid burnout and promote a healthy work/life balance.  


Feeling valued is an integral part of employee satisfaction. Gratitude can be a simple way to help employees feel valued each day. For instance, ensure that you thank any employee when they hand in work or complete a task. A simple thank you can have a significant impact on staff morale. 

You could also consider incorporating recognition into your regular team meetings, for instance, by giving a shoutout to a team member that has done excellent work or gone above and beyond.  


While cutting corners can sometimes be tempting, it is up to you to show an example of integrity as a manager. You can also show integrity in the way you respond to feedback and owning up to mistakes.  

Final Thoughts 

The traits required to be an effective leader are many and varied. It is essential to do what you can to hone the different qualities needed to help you and your team achieve the best they can. Being an excellent manager will take constant self-evaluation and development both in work and in training.