Five Characteristics Essential in Any Effective Leader by Dr. James Dula

image1Effective Leadership is having the opportunity to express who you are before an audience of critical observers. For better or worse, leaders are on stage for all to see. Therefore,  there are five key characteristics necessary to enhance leadership outcomes.

Five characteristics of a quality leader includes competence, caring, character, compassion, and flexibility.

On too many occasions people raise their hands to lead a project, team, or organization without having the basic leadership skills to lead effectively. Competence, having the experience, maturity and presence needed to persuade others to following your lead, is a main ingredient most necessary if the leader is to be effective. I’ve often heard “experience is the best teacher”, and, as a leader, success seriously tones ones skills.

During my forty-plus years of occupying key military, business and community leadership positions, it has always been my pleasure to show a caring spirit in each role. Caring heightens Awareness and adrenalin necessary to move forward  with vigor following long hours of planning, decision making and the execution of programs. Caring leaders  give just diligence to any issue with an eye on achieving success based on experience and compassion.

Compassion and character in leadership are interconnected as heartfelt intentions also includes honesty, fairness, and loyalty. I’ve had the opportunity to work for people who pursued responsibilities with caring but did not express the desired traits of honesty and impartiality. Leaders operating in this way will often lose the loyalty and trust  of followers. Effective must be on guard to lead by example while exhibiting  impartiality.

During my days as a college professor I often taught “communication is key to success.” And too, “flexibility” is clearly inherent in the effectiveness of any quality leader. All too often, authoritarian leaders fail because of their “I’m always right” view of self. However, experience has taught me that situational leadership – the practice of using both authoritarian and democratic leadership principles  according to the situation – proves to be best. Realizing quality leaders must listen to others to make better decisions, flexibility encourages interaction and the expression of ideas. A good leader is a flexible leader!

Quality leaders are caring, compassionate, and flexible. With experience and a caring attitude included, knowing who you are and striving to achieving excellence will be dependent on the listed five characteristics essential in any effective leader.

About the Author:
James A. Dula, PhD, originally from North Carolina, is a retired Air Force Major and Vietnam Veteran. As a military Commander he was responsible for Health, Morale and Welfare. Upon Retirement, he taught High School  and College before becoming Health and Human Services Director  for Prince George’s County. There he created new programs to include the award winning People with Disabilities, Teen Pregnancy Program, Obesity Program and opened numerous other health and family programs. Dula earned BA and PhD degrees in Public Administration; and MA in Communications/Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. He is a three time Who’s Who Awardee for Education and Business and recognized in Who’s Who International. Currently Dula is CEO of James Dula Consulting.

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