Seven Important Skills for Highly Effective Leaders

When hiring your next leadership member, look for candidates with a healthy dose of these seven traits.


With unemployment at near 20-year lows, finding qualified talent is difficult – especially if it’s for a leadership position. If you are looking to fill one of them, or if you simply want to brush up on your own leadership skills, it’s important you understand what skills are found in most great leaders. To help, we've put together a list of seven essential traits that you should look for when hiring for a leadership position.

1. Organizational and communication skills

Great time management, an ability to prioritize, and comfort with multitasking are critical soft skills found in all great leaders.

In a high-stakes, leadership environment, effective communication is also vitally important. Ineffective communication can be a significant contributor to errors and company dollars. Being able to clearly communicate issues, escalate them, and work with colleagues and upper management on finding a solution to a problem will go a long way to ensure mistakes – and costly errors – are minimized.

2. Professionalism, humility and positivity

Working in today’s tight labor market can be extremely stressful. Our recent study – The 2018 US Workforce – found that nearly 20% of today’s workforce may be experiencing unhealthy stress at work.

Great leaders must remain positive, focused and compassionate, with an ability to take control of difficult situations and resolve conflicts rapidly.

3. Responsibility and accountability

Accountability may seem like a daunting word that screams, "who is to blame?” But the fact is, accountability simply entails the processes by which one party justifies and takes responsibility for his or her actions.

Being accountable, taking responsibility, and using the tools that are in place to report and escalate issues may be the difference between a critical error vs. a miscommunication that could have been easily resolved.

4. Patience

Leadership positions are fast-paced, but they are also layered with bureaucracy, processes and protocols. It’s not uncommon for leaders to work within cross-functional teams and across departments, and being calm, cool and patient under pressure is important.

5. Desire to receive continued education

The best leaders are those that strive to continue their education. Whether they are a CEO, CFO, CMO, etc., current knowledge and certifications are essential to your team. Plus, if they are dedicated to making the most out of themselves, they will likely be just as dedicated to helping you get the most out of your operations and your other employees.

6. Team spirit

Most, if not all, leadership positions require working as part of a team. Teamwork is essential to ensuring the well being of your current employees and organization. Additionally, team spirit can serve as a great motivator for employees who are often working evenings, nights and weekends.

7. Emotional stability

Many leadership positions can be demanding, not only psychologically, but also emotionally, and sometimes even physically as well. Employees with better emotional stability are less likely to exhibit strong emotional reactions to stressful situations.

If you are looking to hire highly effective leaders, contact us today.

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