7 Must-Have Characteristics of an Effective Leader

Two primary attributes stand out for the most effective leaders: a leadership mindset and authentic executive presence. Most of us can further develop these areas as we continue striving toward excellence.

If you suspect that there's some overlap between mindset and presence – you're right. Part of having executive presence means thinking like a leader– and vice versa. But for this article, we'll focus on specific qualities that promote effective leadership.

If we trim it down to the simplest terms, leadership mindset means you:

· Are always cognizant of the big picture (the vision, the goal)

· Recognize you're leading the team (not a member of it)

Here are 7 characteristics to emulate as you seek to further develop your leadership skills.

For more specific information about executive presence, check out my e-book, Authentic Presence: Living Out Your Purpose on the Other Side of Fear, or download a free sample copy.

1. Keeps Top 3 Priorities in Sight

The death of many business executives and entrepreneurs is too much focus on a to-do list of seemingly urgent tasks. Organization and time management are essential to success, but if you want to be a more effective leader, don't become a slave to your task list.

Focus your time and effort, first and foremost, on your top three priorities. Take those one-thousand little things you need to get to and prioritize them appropriately.

Evaluate priorities and their alignment to your daily actions. If you’re behavior doesn’t align with your priorities, understand why, and adjust. What was critical yesterday might not be so urgent today, so adjust your focus every morning - Control your schedule or it will control you!