Leadership, when demonstrated effectively, goes far beyond giving directives and offering words of encouragement. Effective leaders understand their roles and the roles of those following them; and they embody the concept of leadership with a vision, enthusiasm, influence, integrity, and, most importantly, a genuine desire to help improve those around them. Throughout your career, you will likely witness the highs and lows of leadership, and without question, the former belongs to those who believe in paying it forward.

In business, paying it forward can influence every level of the organizational pyramid. An established leader can influence the emerging leaders below them, who in turn influence their employees, and so on. 

What I’ve learned in my career is that you can pay it forward beyond the organization in which you work. My desire to share the lessons I’ve learned led me to join forces with fellow University of Arizona Global Campus faculty members Dr. Charles Minnick and Martin McAuliffe, J.D.

In this eBook, called “Stay Engaged… It’s Essential! — Chunks of Leadership Wisdom and Knowledge to Improve Your Leadership Effectiveness,” we share our collective leadership knowledge.

The lessons within the eBook are intended to help emerging leaders in the student population develop their skills at every stage of their careers — not just when they are placed in a supervisory or managerial role. Throughout the text, we dive thoughtfully into the core concepts of leadership, and focus on what you can do to remain engaged no matter your role. Let’s dive into a few of these leadership attributes that you should strive for when becoming a more mindful leader.

Becoming an Effective Leader: 5 Attributes to Remember

Keep the following five attributes in mind when developing your own leadership skills.

1. Effective Leaders are Self-Starters

Taking the initiative is one of the most noticeable ways that you can demonstrate effective leadership. Self-starters are flexible, adaptable, and they accept challenges with confidence and a positive outlook that can help them navigate various obstacles. More importantly, they don’t worry about failure. Effective leaders have confidence.

2. Effective Leaders are Engaged

Helping people “connect the dots” is an essential technique for leaders at every level. Engagement must be practiced and reinforced continually and can be demonstrated by: 1. Involvement, 2. Information Sharing, and 3. Reward and Recognition. Effective leaders continually provide updated information about the company’s performance — including successes and failures.

3. Effective Leaders Display Similar Qualities

You will see many different styles of leadership throughout your career, but the most effective leaders in your life typically display four fundamental qualities: 

  • Optimism and a desire to look for the good in all successes, failures, and challenges.
  • Passion that can lift others beyond self-perceived limitations.
  • Vision that creates action and morphs followers into new leaders.
  • Consideration of others in the process. These leaders find the time for everyone, and they are genuine and authentic in their communications and actions.

4. Effective Leaders Motivate and Collaborate

Leadership is about bringing people together and using your skills to inspire, improve, and stimulate your team and encourage collaboration. By giving employees a sense of choice and competence, they are not only invested in the success of a project, but they truly believe they can accomplish the task at hand. 

5. Effective Leaders are Resilient

Our eBook also examines situational leadership and how leaders can be effective when working with virtual teams. The latter is critical, as the surge in remote workers means today’s leaders are no longer working face-to-face with every member of their team.

Beyond sharing the collective wisdom of our experiences, the eBook serves as an extension of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) career readiness competencies that are taught to students at the Forbes School of Business and Technology at the University of Arizona Global Campus. It is our hope that it will further the discussion of how the values, traits, and methods of effective leadership can be applied to every role, in every industry. 

Read our eBook today. 


Written by Bill Davis, MA, CM, core faculty and program chair in the Forbes School of Business and Technology® at the University of Arizona Global Campus.

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