APRIL 16, 2024

What Makes An Effective Leader?

Short answer: Awareness, Consistency, Communication, Vulnerability, and Passion


When I speak to leaders about self-awareness, I ask them how they think they “show up,” by which I actually mean, “How do people experience you?”

Ask yourself how people receive your leadership, vision, feedback, and delegation. Leaders with low self-awareness are closed and don’t allow themselves to receive criticism, guidance, or appreciation.

When a leader raises their awareness, this leads to openness. Their relationships become healthy and they receive criticism gracefully (even if they don’t agree). They show up differently, more human…and more effective.

Many leaders I work with get caught up in thinking that how they perceive themselves is how others perceive them.


One example: One leader I work with thinks he’s funny and engaging, but his staff all think his jokes are off-putting.


Not only do you need consistency, but the people around you need it from you. When leaders shift between hot and cold, hurried then slow, open or defensive, people don’t know how to act around you.

Whether you know it or not, everyone around you is constantly thinking about how to approach you, and how to manage the power imbalance so they can get their needs met.

When you’re not consistent, they’re spending too much energy on you, energy they could be putting towards something productive.


This is the leader’s ability to share needed information, what they think, their vision, and even what’s going on for them personally.

It includes being honest, open, and vulnerable even saying “I don’t know.”

Not everything can be shared, but everyone has a need to understand. Before crafting any message, think of your audience first. What do they need?

There are many ways you can share, even if it’s simply acknowledging an issue and saying something like, “I can’t share a lot about that now, but I can say…and will share more when…”


As I said above, leaders need to be OK with not knowing. Be human. People will appreciate you more, and work harder for you.


What drives you? Effective leaders create energy around what drives them. Having direction shows commitment and confidence. And it’s contagious!

When you’re committed to something bigger than yourself, serving others, and supporting the people around you, you can bring to light your organization’s mission.

Hone in on who you are at this point in time…which takes be back to point number one in this blog, self-awareness.

Constantly Grow

If you want help to become the best leader you can, check out our Leadership Academy.