What makes a good leader? What kinds of qualities do effective leaders possess? If your goal is to become a long-term effective leader, there are several key principles that must be mastered first. Which of these areas reflect your own strengths? Which ones need a little work?

Be A Good Listener

Purpose-driven leaders understand that it is as important to listen as it is to be heard. They recognize that other people’s input has value and that all problems and issues are significant. While it may seem like quite a bit to shoulder, this is one area that no effective leader can afford to lack in skill.

Lead By Example

Never expect better from your subordinates than what you project. The effectiveness of your leadership will always be gauged by how well you follow your own rules. Leaders and influencers display a degree of transparency that commands respect. Always set the example in front of your subordinates and you will find that they set their standards as high – if not higher – than yours.

Be Available

Don’t be the supervisor, manager, or executive that constantly has to be chased down. Answer relevant texts and emails promptly. Reserve office hours to meet with employees who have specific concerns that only you can effectively address. Your presence alone tells people that you understand their work environment and that you are an involved leader.

Read

Purpose-driven leaders take their cues from more-successful people. This is why effective leaders identify influencers in their area of management or leadership and learn how to emulate their successes. Read everything you can by and about the highly successful people in your industry. You will learn their secrets and their methods and will be able to apply what you learn to how you lead.

Be a True Leader

Effective leaders are constantly identifying and addressing areas that need improvement and making proactive changes to facilitate it. Project true leadership qualities in a way that makes your subordinates want to be more like you.

Remember that your subordinates will only ever work as hard as you do. They will only ever strive for excellence to the degree that you do. Keep this and the rest of the advice in this article in mind as you continue to develop strong leadership qualities within yourself.