Traits of an Effective Leader

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The Four Pillars and 13 Traits

We can all be leaders.  Some of us may be CEOs; some may be middle managers in charge of a division or function; some may work in a staff position by day but lead a church or community group in the evenings; and some may lead or co-lead a household.  We are all part of larger teams and communities where our thoughts, words and actions impact others.  Those we impact then impact others with whom they have relationships. Leadership is a nebulous term.  You know it when you see it, but different people exhibit it differently.  We are all a different combination of traits, and we all express them differently as we try to lead.  However, effective leaders seem to excel in some or all of the following 13 traits.
  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Focus
  3. Creativity
  4. Communication skills
  5. Relationships
  6. Attunement
  7. Team orientation
  8. Insight
  9. Balance
  10. Influence
  11. Vision
  12. Grit
  13. Growth mindset

The 13 Leadership Traits are interrelated, and some build upon others. For example, one trait of all effective leaders is clarity amidst the chaos that helps them identify and implement what is centrally important to the organization.  This clarity comes from a combination of awareness and perspective.  Effective leaders cultivate influence in organizations of motivated people using communication skills, relationship-building skills, motivational skills, and support for others’ achievement.  They connect well with others.  Effective leaders create disciplined organizations that are focused, balanced, and creative.  Effective leaders are also innovators, not just managers, who create opportunities, and are willing to change and facilitate organizational growth. Effective leaders are willing to adapt, continue to grow personally and professionally and strive to achieve their potential.

The key to Leading From Within is to recognize how meditation may help you develop strength or clarity around a particular trait, in addition to appreciating the totality of benefits you will derive from a personal meditation practice.  The 13 Leadership Traits may be enhanced with an active meditation practice focused on The Four Pillars: Awareness, Connection, Perspective, and Potential.

Meditation helps us focus on the present moment, enhancing our ability to observe things as they are. Increased awareness increases our capacity for connection and perspective. Acting with greater awareness, connection and perspective facilitates our ability to be more effective and achieve our potential. These pillars once established and practiced and continually reinforced through daily meditation provide us with a strong foundation to become more effective in everything we do. Ultimately, more effective leaders create more effective organizations.

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