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How to know if you are an effective leader

An effective leader is someone who can communicate rationally, connect relationally, manage practically, and lead directionally and strategically. Effective leaders demonstrate not just IQ (intelligent quotient) but EQ (emotional quotient) – they share knowledge and information yet understand emotion and connection.

A McCrindle Research study surveyed over 580 Australians on their desired leadership styles and the characteristic values they would like to see in their ideal leader.

 

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34 per cent of Australians stated that employees have the largest impact on determining business growth or decline.

Leadership: Most important factors in growth or decline

When asked to comment on the factor which has the largest impact on determining whether a business grows and flourishes or struggles and declines, the number one response of Australians, given by 38 per cent of respondents, was that leadership and management determine these outcomes.

The tasks of direction setting, leading the team, and managing business movements that determine the success or failure of the business are primarily dependent on the leadership and management team, Australians noted. 34 per cent of Australians stated that employees – particularly their attitudes and work ethics – have the largest impact on determining business growth or decline, followed by products and services (17 per cent), suppliers and clients (seven per cent), and systems and procedures (five per cent).

 

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The ideal Australian leadership is an environment in which team participation is encouraged and direction is given by strong leadership. 

Leader authority versus team participation and ownership

Australians prefer greater levels of team participation and ownership over leadership authority. 57 per cent of Australians surveyed indicated that they prefer a high level of team participation and ownership, compared with 45 per cent who prefer a high level of leader authority.

The ideal Australian leadership is an environment in which team participation is encouraged and direction is given by strong leadership – only three per cent of Australians indicated a preference for low levels of leadership involvement, and only two per cent indicated a low level of team participation. In fact, when asked about  flexible working options in the workplace, 96 per cent of Australians deemed it necessary to gather and collaborate in order to achieve maximum output and develop cultural cohesion.

 

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Australians prefer a leader who is driven towards outcomes and objectives rather than ambition.

Ideal leadership values

When Australians were asked to rank the leadership values of their ideal leader, competence was ranked as the highest priority. Australians prefer a leader who is driven towards outcomes and objectives, with ambitious being the second-ranked ideal leadership value.

Broad-mindedness was next on the list, with Australians desiring to be led by individuals who are open to new ideas, innovation, and change. Australians ranked caring as fourth, showing a desire for empathy in their working environment. Cooperation also made it into the top five ideal leadership values, showing the Aussie desire for mutual teamwork.

 

Top 5 values of the ideal leader

  1. Competent
  2. Ambitious
  3. Broad-minded
  4. Caring
  5. Cooperative

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Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author and influential thought leader. He is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of the country’s leading organisations. Mark is also founder and Principal of Australian social research firm McCrindle Research.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.